A lawsuit filed Friday blames a fifth-grade Orland Park girl’s suicide on her classmates’ social media prank in June 2013.
The mother of the girl — identified only as Jane Doe II — filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against a boy and another girl, both who were classmates with Jane Doe II. All parties in the suit are unnamed and identified only as Jane and John Does.
The alleged prank began around June 8, 2013, when the boy — John Doe II — falsely told Jane Doe II over social media that he was going to commit suicide or inflict “severe physical harm” on himself. He then created a fake social media identity named Zach Gosdea to reaffirm the suicide claims, it’s alleged.
The other girl named as a defendant, Jane Doe IV, knew the boy had no intention of killing himself and knew about the fake account, but she tried to convince Jane Doe II that he was telling the truth, the suit states.
The three kids were “in a long-standing relationship wherein they were in a position of trust,” and the alleged pranksters knew of the girl’s affection for them, it adds.
For the next two days, the pair worked together to convince Jane Doe II that John Doe II was going to take his own life, the suit said.
On the morning of June 10, after Jane Doe II developed “severe physical, psychological and emotional anguish and anxiety,” she committed suicide by overdosing on diphenhydramine, a medicine found in allergy or sleeping pills, the suit said.
A representative for the Orland Park Police Department did not immediately return a call to comment on whether they opened an investigation.
The six-count suit blames both children for failing to realize their prank would cause Jane Doe II pain. It also charges their parents with failing to monitor the kids’ social media activity.