Teen Commits Suicide After Peers Share Nude Video

| by Karin Sun
Tovonna HoltonTovonna Holton

A Florida teenager committed suicide after her peers reportedly filmed her nude in the shower without her permission and shared the Snapchat video on social media.

Tovonna Holton, 15, of Pasco County, Florida, was found dead in the bathroom of her home on June 5, WFLA reported. She had taken her mother's gun out of her purse and shot herself in the head.

The teen's mother, Levon Holton-Teamer, said she had sent her daughter to clean her room shortly before the suicide. Minutes later, she found the teen's lifeless body in the bathroom.

"I go to the bathroom; I couldn’t get in the bathroom," Holton-Teamer told WFLA June 8. "The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her."

The death occurred just before 6 p.m., according to the Tampa Times.

Holton-Teamer said her daughter had expressed concern earlier in the day about a nude picture that her friends had taken of her without her permission.

"Tovonna would say, ‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them,'" the teen's mother told WFLA. "I said, ‘What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong."

Hours after the girl's suicide, Tovonna's aunt, Angel Scott, went on Facebook to look for answers. It was then that she discovered that a Snapchat video of her niece, taken while she was nude in the shower, had circulated online.

"I just said, 'If anybody knows anything, what happened? Have you heard of anything? Do you know who these kids are who have the pictures?'" Scott told WFLA. "I thought it was just pictures and then the kids started inboxing me."

"Everybody was out there talking about her and calling her names and they said [the video] went up on social media, Snapchat," Scott added.

The video was posted online around 3 p.m. June 5. Tovonna was found dead about three hours later.

Although Snapchat videos disappear 24 hours after they're posted, receivers of the video may take screenshots or save it to their phones.

The teen was just about to finish her freshman year at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, Florida, at the time of her suicide. After school district officials became aware of the cyberbullying the teen suffered, they referred the case to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Police are still investigating the Snapchat video.

In the meantime, a new social media campaign with the hashtag #stopbullying has been launched online in Tovonna's honor.

A Facebook post made by a friend of the teen's family has also gone viral with more than 4,500 shares as of June 9, according to the Tampa Times.

The message, which was posted June 7 and accompanied by a photo of the deceased teen, urged parents to ensure that their children use the Internet responsibly.

"I hope that all schools and parents [begin] to attack the beast of bullying and social media," the post read, the Tampa Times reports.

Sources: WFLA, Tampa Times / Photo Credit: WFLA

Do you think something needs to be done about cyberbullying?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%