Cops Investigate What Led to 12-Year-Old Girl's Suicide as They Plead for Death Video's Removal
A 12-year-old Georgia girl took her own life in the yard of her family's home as her cellphone broadcast the incident live on the internet.
A 12-year-old Georgia girl took her own life after alleging she had been sexually and verbally abused by a family member, hanging herself in the yard of her family’s home as her cell phone broadcast the incident live on the internet.
“I really am truly sorry for everything. But I can’t do this. I’m sorry,” Katelyn Nicole Davis says to the camera on December 30, crying and continuing to apologize before killing herself.
The video continued to roll for about 20 minutes after Katelyn hanged herself, ending as her phone rings repeatedly and what sounds like someone in the distance calling her name.
Police responded to the Cedartown home, rushing the preteen to Polk Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at about 6 p.m.
The County Coroner will determine Katelyn’s official cause of death.
Though their investigation initially focused on the manner of Katelyn’s death, police have since shifted to probing to what could have led to her taking her own life, The Polk Standard Journal reported.
Polk County Police Chief Kenny Dodd told the Journal that allegations of abuse and attempted rape Katelyn posted in an online diary entry on December 27 are being investigated.
In the entry, which was written under the pseudonym “Dolly” and has since been removed, the author alleges a male relative hit her with a studded belt and tried to rape her.
In another entry posted that same day, “Dolly” — a name Katelyn was known to go by on the internet —brainstorms ways in which she can kill herself before writing she is suffering from depression and asking readers for advice on how to deal with it.
“Katelyn was not a troubled child — she was very smart and she smiled when she was out of that house," neighbor Reianne Meadows told InsideEdition.com. "It was the environment she was in. This isn’t about what she did — it’s about why she did it."
Meadows said the young girl was often tasked with watching over her younger half-brother and half-sister in an allegedly volatile household.
“From my house, you could stand in the front yard … and [her stepfather] could be heard screaming, yelling, cussing,” said Meadows, whose backyard abutted the side of Katelyn’s family’s home. “That night … I heard a loud howling noise coming from over there and saw two police cars and I thought nothing of it, just thought they were at it again. I then saw three more police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance. Then my husband called me and said a neighbor had come over, saying Katelyn had killed herself.”
As of Wednesday, no criminal charges had been filed in connection to Katelyn’s death, Dodd told the Journal.
InsideEdition.com has reached out for comment to the Polk County Police Department and the State of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
Greg Teems, assistant superintendent for the Polk School District, said officials had no records indicating Katelyn might need counseling.
"We didn’t have prior reports ... we didn't have anything that would tip us at school that this might be an occurrence," Teems said. "We take these matters very seriously ... it's a tragic event. We're talking about a very young student here."
Counselors had been made available to Katelyn's schoolmates, he said.
"We're trying to help our students who are still trying to grasp this," Teems said.
Attempts by InsideEdition.com to reach Katelyn’s family for comment were unsuccessful.
Police had appealed to the community and internet users-at-large to refrain from viewing, mentioning or passing along the video of Katelyn’s death, which has since gone viral.
“Out of respect for the family of the departed and for the deceased themselves, we respectfully request that the citizenry of Polk County and whoever might view or receive this message please help us out with this request,” police wrote on Facebook.
Dodd had told Fox 5 that police contacted some of the sites hosting the video asking for it to be removed, but by law it does not have to be.
“It’s just the common decent thing to do in my opinion,” Dodd said.
One such site was Facebook, which a spokesperson for told InsideEdition.com they have removed the video and will continue to do so for as long as it continues to pop up on the site.
Meadows also pleaded for the permanent deletion of the video.
"Please stop circulating this," Meadows said. "The fact that that was a little girl, crying out ... care about this little girl’s memory."
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