Did cyberbullying play a key role in a double suicide in Wichita, Kansas

A second suicide in Wichita follows days of what some are calling cyberbullying

  • Almost a week ago 21-year-old Tanner Duncan committed suicide leaving behind his 25-year-old fiancee 24-year-old Aubrey Jones

  • Duncan had one child with Jones, who had another child from a previous relationship

  • After facing days of social media harassment related to Duncan’s death Jones committed suicide

  • Screenshots from social media show several individuals harassing and being harassed on social media

The community of Wichita, Kansas is attempting to understand how a young couple both committed suicide within a week of each other.

Last weekend, 21-year-old Tanner Duncan tragically took his life, leaving behind his 24-year-old fiancee Aubrey Jones and two children. One child with Jones, and a child that she had from a previous relationship. In the following days, Jones was allegedly blamed for the suicide by Duncan’s friends and family.

A source close to the situation reached out to TDH. Due to threats being hurled around social media, we have decided to have the source remain anonymous.

The Battle With Depression

TDH was told that several years back Duncan was involved in a bicycle accident. Those close to him saw a change in him, namely, beginning an exhausting fight with depression.

Duncan was said to deal with his depression by riding his bike and hanging out with childhood friends. At this point, turning to drugs was not how Duncan dealt with his depression.

Duncan met Jones, who had battled with addiction problems. Once the two were in a relationship, Duncan allegedly began using heroin. From there it was a downward spiral of overdosing, car accidents, and problems with the law.

By the end of 2016, this lifestyle had worn Duncan down, and he made several attempts at suicide, but either failed or was stopped by others. Sadly, Duncan’s fight with depression is one he would inevitably lose.

The Blame Game

Following the death of Duncan, Jones became the target of an online assault claiming that it was her fault he died. Sammy Sage, a friend of Duncan’s, seemed to lead the attack at times.

One screenshot that has been shared to social media shows Sage directly blaming Jones for Duncan’s death.

Sage was not the only one to message Jones. Another screenshot shows a James Mchenry told Jones that he would love to “piss on your grave you just got to put yourself there first.” 

Messages were not the only area Jones was going under attack. On multiple social media threads, people chimed in to bash Jones for Duncan’s death.

 

 

While Jones seemed to get the majority of the attack, she was not completely innocent and also pushed back at Sage on social media. In one post from Jones, nude pictures of Sage were leaked before the post was deleted. There was also conflict between Jones and Duncan’s mother following his death.

While people should have been mourning Duncan’s death, instead it became an all out shit show of who could say the most hurtful things on social media. While some did play a bigger role than others in this situation, it is clear that many people were at fault.

Shortly before Jones committed suicide, she made a post to her Facebook stating that she was not going to “kill my self too like they all want.”

News would later spread on social media that Jones had committed suicide. Sadly, the attack on Jones did not stop even after her death. Some went as far as borderline celebrating the young mother’s death.

 

Following Jones’ death, Sage began facing the same harassment. People were now blaming Sage for Jones committing suicide. Sage now found herself in the same position she had once help Aubrey. One of those threats was quite disturbing and stated that their “machete likes meat. Blood and meat.”

Sage deleted her Facebook account due to the harassment she was receiving. Before the account was deleted, she made the following post addressing those attacking her.

While Sage claims her innocence, numerous screenshots show her making threats towards people through Facebook messenger. In some of these messages, Sage goes as far as threatening people’s children.

 

The entire situation is repulsive at best. Two people are dead and adults are still hurling insults and inadvertently taking part in a growing trend of seeing how far you can push someone on social media before they snap.

The Blue Whale Game

Recently, TDH reported on a trend in Russia referred to as the “Blue Whale Game.” In the game, people receive a curator who gives them orders to complete. The game lasts for 50 days, and at the end of it, the player must commit suicide to “win” the game.

Police arrested 21-year-old Filipp Budeikin in connection to at least fifteen suicides in the area. There are laws around pushing someone to the point of suicide on social media.

In the State of Kansas, Statute 21-5407 states assisting suicide as “Knowingly, by force or duress, causing another person to commit or attempt to commit suicide.”

Duress includes “threats, violence, constraints, or other action brought to bear on someone to do something against their will or better judgment.” In other words, all of these nasty things people are saying on social media can be charged as a Level 3 Felony.

Funeral Support and Vigil

While some are choosing to waste their energy tearing each other part in the wake of these tragic deaths, some are trying to do good.

A Go Fund me has been started to help the families with both funeral costs. If you would like to donate to Duncan’s funeral, you can do so by clicking here! If you would like to donate to Jones’ funeral costs, you can do so by clicking here!

A candlelit vigil is scheduled for tomorrow for Jones. The vigil will be at 6:00 pm at the Wichita Indian Center. Donations can be made at the vigil that will go directly to Jones’ family.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist at night.

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