A British schoolboy who posted a suicide note on Facebook was saved by the police after his friend in the US read that post and raised the alarm.
The transatlantic rescue operation began when the depressed 16-year-old teenager, who had been chatting with a girl in Maryland in the US, told the girl about his imminent suicide.
The panicked girl then notified her parents about the incident, who triggered a series of emergency messages between the local police, a White House special agent, the UK Embassy in Washington, Scotland Yard, and Thames Valley police.
In spite of being provided with the schoolboy’s name and the information that he went to a school in Oxfordshire, the detectives managed to narrow his location to eight probable addresses in the region.
Having nailed down the potential locations, police began checking all these addresses and eventually found the troubled teenager in an unconscious state at the fourth address, on the outskirts of Oxford. The teenager was immediately rushed to hospital, where he made a complete recovery.
Appreciating efforts on both sides of the Atlantic, Brendon O’Dowda, Chief Superintendent for Oxfordshire police, said in a statement, “It took up time and effort but it was time and effort absolutely well spent”.
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Good to see that Facebook has been instrumental to save the life of someone. But there have been instances in the past where Facebook was said to be a factor in a number of suicides, the most notable being the 23 suicides that rocked the town of Bridgend in 2007 and 2008. There were rumours of a suicide club or cult but nothing conclusive came up during a subsequent investigation.