AP/Lakeland Ledger Twelve-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick jumped to her death at this abandoned cement plant in Lakeland on Sept. 10. Two girls have been arrested in her death. Officials say she committed suicide after being bullied online for nearly a year. The Polk County Sheriff's Office on Monday arrested two girls, ages 12 and 14, for bullying Sedwick.
published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Two girls arrested for stalking in Lakeland bullying case
By MIKE SCHNEIDER
WINTER HAVEN -- Two girls were arrested in a Florida bullying case after one of them admitted online over the weekend that she harassed a 12-year-old girl who killed herself last month, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Tuesday.
Judd said they arrested a 14-year-old girl because they were worried she would continue cyberbullying other girls.
The girl is accused of threatening to beat up 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick, telling her "to drink bleach and die" and saying she should kill herself, the sheriff said.
After nearly a year of bullying by as many as 15 girls, authorities said Rebecca climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant Sept. 9 and hurled herself to her death.
Judd said police arrested the 14-year-old girl after she posted Saturday on Facebook that she bullied Rebecca and she didn't care.
"We decided that we can't leave her out there. Who else is she going to torment, who else is she going to harass?" Judd said.
Police also arrested a 12-year-old girl who is accused of bullying Rebecca. Both have been charged with felony aggravated stalking.
Judd said the bullying began after the 14-year-old girl started dating a boy that Rebecca had been seeing.
She "didn't like that and began to harass and ultimately torment Rebecca," Judd said.
A man who answered the phone at the 14-year-old's Lakeland home said he was her father and told The Associated Press "none of it's true."
"My daughter's a good girl and I'm 100 percent sure that whatever they're saying about my daughter is not true," he said.
A message left at the 12-year-old girl's home was not immediately returned.
The girls were arrested Monday night and released to their parents' custody. They remain on home detention.
The 12-year-old girl was Rebecca's former best friend, but the sheriff said the 14-year-old girl turned her against Rebecca.
Other girls also stopped being friends with Rebecca in fear of being bullied, the sheriff said.
Judd said he was upset the girls still had access to social networks after Rebecca's suicide.
"If we can find any charges we can bring against their parents, we will," Judd said.
Judd said neither girl's parents wanted to bring their daughters to the sheriff's office, so detectives went to their homes and arrested them.
Judd said the 14-year-old suspect was "very cold, had no emotion at all upon her arrest."
Authentic Trailer Trash (by: Blindman~ - 10/15/2013)
The 14-year-old girl Guadalupe is living with the shame of her father raising her in squalor and apparently has been experiencing multiple emotions triggering anger, jealousy, and aggression toward others for some time. Why does she do it? Because she can. If the man who answered the phone truly is her father, he probably has no idea what's really going on with his daughter... let alone what to do about it or her, except to deny everything "100 percent"... for it would be too painful for him to know.
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