Suicide or Choking Game? Parents, Police Debate Death of 10-Year-Old Boy

Illustration for article titled Suicide or Choking Game? Parents, Police Debate Death of 10-Year-Old Boy

Milwaukee police believe 10-year-old Thalian Curtis committed suicide when they showed up to his apartment to find him dead with a curtain wrapped tightly around his neck.

But his devastated parents are saying that the child who they called a "happy little boy," didn't kill himself, but instead died in a deadly choking game that is popular with children across the country.

"I think it was just a game he was playing and it got out of hand of just him by himself," said his distraught father, Enzy Curtis.


His heartbroken mother, Yolanda Cash, said she suspects the game was the cause of her son's death because he played it numerous times before.

"I told him, 'Honey that's dangerous. You shouldn't do that."

Cash recounted the horrifying moments when her oldest son informed her that Thalian was unconscious in his room, bleeding from his neck.

"I tried pulling it from around his neck. But, it was just, I couldn't pull it. I had to shake the whole curtain down," she said. "Blood (was) coming from his mouth and he was foaming, vomiting but he never came to."

The choking game, also known as the fainting game, consists of cutting off oxygen supply to the brain in order to induce a high. Many children who are against or afraid of the high drugs offer, play the game to experience similar feelings their drug user friends have. As many of these deaths are ruled suicides, it has been difficult to tally accurate numbers when it comes to figuring out how many deaths this game has caused.

According to the non-profit organization G.A.S.P. (Games Adolescents Shouldn't Play), the average age of kids playing the choking game is 9-16 years old, and between 250-1,000 children die yearly from it in the U.S. and Canada.

Read more at MSNBC

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