Police say a dangerous social media challenge known as ‘The Hanged Man’ could be behind the deaths of three men who killed themselves on the same day in the same city.
Cops have warned parents to be cautious of their children’s online activity as they fear the challenge could also be targetted at children.
The three suicides took place on 25th March in Morelia in the western Mexican state of Michoacan. The first was reported at around 6.50pm when the body of 20-year-old Bryan Alexis T. was found hanged at his home, according to reports.
Around seven minutes later, another suicide was reported in the colony of Obrera when a young man, identified as Alejandro G., was found hanging from a tree.
At around 9.45pm, another young man was found dead in a house in the area of Nueva Aldea. He has not been identified so far.
According to the state’s cyber security department, a sick online challenge known as ‘El Ahorcado’ (‘The Hanged Man’) could be linked to the men’s deaths.
Reports said that dark challenges are sent to netizens via WhatsApp and Facebook and participants carry out various steps before hanging themselves with rope.
The ultimate challenge, according to the authorities, is to survive the hanging attempt, but it is very easy for players to seriously injure themselves and even die.
Meanwhile, the police have warned parents to be aware of what their children are looking at online.
A spokesperson said: “Do not believe everything on the internet and parents should be alert to behavioural differences in their children. They should also check what content they are looking at.
“Never accept the challenge, and do not share it.”
The investigation is ongoing.