A 12-year-old girl was recently found dead by her father after attempting a TikTok 'blackout' challenge. The incident was live-streamed by her classmates. The girl's family believes she was encouraged to partake in the challenge.
A Young Girl Was Found Dead After Participating In The 'Blackout Challenge'
12-year-old Milagros Soto was found dead in her bedroom in Santa Fe, Argentina on Friday. According to Daily Mail, Soto's aunt, Laura Luque explained Soto was found by her father who arrived from work. She told TV station TeleNueve that her niece received a link to the challenge via a WhatsApp message. The challenge is also known as the 'choking challenge' or 'pass-out challenge.'
Details Of Soto's Passing
One of Soto's classmates from School No. 223 Lieutenant General Pablo Riccieri in Capitán Bermúdez, Santa Fe has sent her the link for the challenge. An autopsy report showed that the cause of death was mechanical asphyxia by hanging. Also, there was no sign of a third party of abuse. Soto had tried twice to remove the rope from her neck but died on the third attempt.
Her Distraught Family Believes Soto Was 'Encouraged'
While Soto was battling for her life, her classmates watched and continued watching till she died. Luque believed Soto was encouraged to partake in the challenge. She revealed that her niece was laughed at by her classmates in school. "She suffered a lot of bullying." the distrusted aunt explained. She shared that Soto had said her classmates did not like her because she was pretty.
Soto's Aunt Reminisces
Luque continued that her niece was a studious girl with light blue eyes and blonde hair. In the statement from the school, Soto was also described as a great student who was sweet and kind. Authorities are investigating Soto's cellphone to find out if any of her classmates were involved.
About The 'Blackout Challenge' And Deaths Attributed To It
The TikTok 'blackout challenge' urges users to hold their breath. They do this until they pass out as a result of a lack of oxygen. Dr. Nick Flynn told the Irish Examiner that low oxygen to the brain for three minutes can damage the brain. However, low oxygen to the brain for five minutes can cause death.
The Trend Has Been On Since The 2000s
Some of the signs that can indicate someone is partaking in the challenge include bloodshot eyes. Also, marks on their neck, disoriented feelings, and severe headaches. According to People, the challenge has been around since 2008. However, it started to trend again in 2021 and continued until 2023.
Statistics For The 'Black Out' Challenge Casualties
The trend has been linked to over 80 deaths when it first started. A Bloomberg Businessweek report in November 2022 linked five deaths of children aged 13 and 14 to the challenge. Also, 15 deaths of children aged 12 and below in only 18 months.
TikTok Faces Legal Issues Concerning The Challenge
Some parents have tried turning to TikTok for answers. 9-year-old Arriani Arroyo died in February 2021 after attempting the challenge. Her parents are suing the platform to keep other children safe.
More Deaths Were Recorded
However, in 2022, more deaths were recorded. 12-year-old Tristan Casson in Ohio, 12-year-old Archie Batterbee in the UK, and 14-year-old Leon Brown all died from the challenge.
Cases Linked To The 'Black out' Challenge
In July, lawsuits were filed against Tiktok surrounding the deaths of 8-year-old Lalani Erika Walton and Arriani Arroyo. A case involving a 10-year-old girl was also dismissed by a federal judge in 2023. TikTok has blocked #BlackoutChallenge from their search engine.