Two suicides in South America linked to viral ‘Momo Suicide Challenge’ online game
The reported suicide deaths of two young people in Colombia late last month have been linked to a viral online “suicide game,” according to a Fox News report.
A 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy committed suicide within 48 hours of one another, according to a report out of Colombia. The deaths occurred in the area of Barbosa, in the northwest portion of the South American country.
The teen boy reportedly knew the girl, and passed the game to her before killing himself, according to RCN Radio.
The girl was found hanged 48 hours later.
Police seized the children’s phones, which were said to have messages linking them to the “Momo Suicide Challenge,” authorities say.
“Apparently, they practiced this game through WhatsApp and it invited the young people to hurt themselves,” government secretary Janier Landono said. “The game has different challenges and the suicide is at the end.”
The reported deaths are the first to be linked to the game in Colombia, which is thought to have originated on a Facebook group page.
Police in Argentina are investigating whether “Momo” is linked to the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in the district of Escobar, which occurred last month.
The “Momo suicide game” has been garnering attention after it began spreading on WhatsApp, prompting police warnings, Fox News reports.
If players fail to complete the challenges in the game, they receive threatening messages from an avatar dubbed Momo, a bird-like woman with eyes protruding out of her head, who says the user will be cursed with an “evil spell.”
“Momo” is a viral challenge that asks people to add a contact via WhatsApp. The user is then urged to commit self-harm or suicide. The “game” has fueled comparisons to the sinister “Blue Whale challenge” that led to reports of suicides in Russia and the U.S, as well as the online fictional character of “Slender Man.”
In 2014, two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin attempted to kill a classmate in an attempt to please the horror character.
Last month, the “Momo” game made its way into the popular “Minecraft” video game, which prompted Microsoft to clamp down on it.