Police found 14-year-old Nakia Venant hanging in the bathroom of her foster parents' Miami Gardens residence.
Following the news of 33-year-old actor Jay Bowdy live-streaming his suicide in Hollywood, another Facebook Live suicide has been reported. Nakia Venant, a 14-year-old girl living in Miami Gardens, took her own life on Sunday night by hanging herself with her own scarf. She was in the bathroom when she posted the two-hour Facebook Live video, during which she made her scarf into a noose. The Miami Herald reports that the live video "ended abruptly," but a friend of Venant's claims that the feed showed her hanging in the bathroom.
Venant hung herself by tying her scarf to "a shower-glass door frame" at around 3:03 AM, according to a report given to the Herald by the Florida Department of Children & Families. Miami Gardens police found her hanging in the bathroom while her foster parents were asleep in their bedroom.
Efforts to resuscitate her by police as well as a fire-rescue crew were unsuccessful. She was declared dead at Jackson North Hospital.
It is unclear how long Venant, who was reportedly born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has been in foster care, though her familial situation may have delayed police's rush to find her.
The friend who claims to have seen Venant hanging herself via Facebook Live contacted Miami-Dade police. When they arrived at her house, the friend sent officers to the wrong address. The residents of that address then directed police to the address of Venant's current foster home in Miami Gardens, said Miami Gardens police spokeswoman Petula Burks.
“We are absolutely horrified and devastated by the news of this young girl's death,” said DCF Secretary Mike Carroll. “We will do everything we can to support this family and all those who cared for her as they begin to heal from this tragedy. We will conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary special review to examine this child’s history and the circumstances related to serving the child.”
Facebook also commented on the video, which has been removed. “Our Community Standards regulate what kinds of content can be shared on Facebook. Our teams work around the clock to review content that is being reported by users, and we have systems in place to ensure that time-sensitive content is dealt with quickly," said Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen in a statement to the Herald.
“The vast majority of people are using Facebook Live to come together and share experiences in the moment with their friends and family,” the statement read. “But if someone does violate our Community Standards while using Live, we want to interrupt these streams as quickly as possible when they’re reported to us. So we’ve given people a way to report violations during a live broadcast. We also suggest people contact law enforcement or emergency services themselves if they become aware of something where the authorities can help.”
Venant's death comes three weeks after 12-year-old Katelyn Nicole Davis live-streamed her hanging herself from a tree outside of her home in Cedartown, GA. The video appeared on Facebook, but it was initially broadcast on the live-streaming app Live.me and not Facebook Live, as had been previously reported.