A nine-year-old West Virginia boy took his own life after being relentlessly bullied, his family says.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, Jackson Grubb, a third grader at Sophia Soak Creek Elementary, was found dead by sister in their family's home.
Jackson's guardian and grandmother, Betsy Baber, says she knew something was wrong in the weeks before his death.
"I was spending time with him, trying to get it out of him," Betsy told WVVA. "But Jack's the type that holds things in and I couldn't get to him."
Betsy says that Jackson had previously fought back against bullying with humor and, on one occasion, with his fists. However, she noticed a change in recent weeks.
"I don't know what he was thinking," Jackson's uncle, Shane Baber, said. "He wanted to spend the night with me for two days and I couldn't figure out what was going on."
On Sept. 10, Jackson's sister walked into his room to cheer him up and found a deeply disturbing scene. Jackson had hung himself in his bedroom.
"We came straight over," Jackson's mother, Diana Crump, said. "I saw the ambulance go that way and I said, 'Turn around! Turn around! That's Jackson!' When I got to the hospital they wouldn't let me in so I knew when I saw EMS crying that he was gone."
The family says they saw signs leading up to Jackson's suicide. He was having problems at school and his bullies were showing up near the trailer park where they live.
In his final weeks, Betsy Baber says Jackson built a clubhouse on their property in hopes that it would help him find a friend.
"Some kids can talk, some kids can't," the grandmother said. "Jack was the kind that didn't like to talk. He didn't want to look little. These kids need to know that there's nothing wrong with being little, it's being able to tell these kids that they're being mean. And it needs to stop."
The Raleigh County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the death was reported as a hanging and that there is no foul play suspected.