This 16-Year-Old Committed Suicide After Private Instagram DM Leaked Online

Phoebe Connop, a 16-year-old from Halesowen in the UK, tragically took her own life after private Instagram messages leaked online. She was afraid that the screenshots would brand her as being “racist.”

Connop told friends she was talking to an Asian man and sent him an Instagram DM of herself wrapped in a scarf around her head, joking that she would have to look like that in order to gain approval from his parents.

The inquest at Black Country Coroners Court found that the photo was shared outside of the DM and Connop feared that people would brand her as racist because of it.

“From speaking to her friends in the weeks following her death, we discovered that the image had circulated further than she wanted it to,” said Detective-sergeant Katherine Tomkins from West Midlands Police said. “There had been some negative reaction and she confided in her friend, who did take the image down at her request, that she was scared of what the reaction might be from the Asian community in her area.”

Connop died in her own home on July 7.

“This is an absolute tragedy for the family and I can’t imagine the pain and distress they are going through, as well as her friends,” Black Country Coroner Zafar Siddique stated. “There is nothing I can say to help with the pain but I offer my sincere condolences.”

After her death, a book of condolences was opened in Connop’s honor at Windsor High School in Halesowen.

“We in the Windsor community are deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss,” said teacher Stephen Lanckham. “We will remember Phoebe as a confident, warm and caring girl that was heavily involved in all aspects of school life.”

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