Parents blame media for teen's death

Feb. 20, 2008 at 11:46 AM
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BRIDGEND , Wales, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The parents of a Welsh teen who apparently committed suicide blamed the media for what happened to their son.

The teen was found alive last week after "harming himself" at his home in the Cefn Glas area of Bridgend, Wales, and died in a hospital Friday after life-support systems were removed, the Western Mail reported Wednesday.

"We have lost our son and the media reporting of this has made an incredibly difficult time even more unbearable," the 15-year-old's parents said during a news conference at South Wales Police headquarters in Bridgend.

Since September 2006, 21 teens apparently committed suicide in the Bridgend area; the body of the latest victim was found Tuesday in a wooded area.

The parents said they believed media coverage "could trigger other young people who are already vulnerable" to contemplate committing suicide.

Coverage, they said, "glamorized" ways of committing suicide.

Assistant Chief Constable David Morris offered an update on the police investigation into the deaths, the BBC said. A "constellation of factors" seems to have prompted the teens to take their lives -- including relationship break-ups and problems with family and friends -- Morris said, adding the teens were vulnerable to outside influences.

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