Two arrests have been made in the case of Rebecca Ann Sedwick’s death, the 12-year-old girl from Lakeland, FL who killed herself last month after being bullied.
The female juveniles, a 14-year-old and a 12-year old, were both arrested Monday night after the 14-year-old allegedly posted about Rebecca’s death on Facebook, saying, “Yes, I bullied Rebecca and she killed herself but I don’t give a f***,” according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. The Sheriff also stated that police arrested the girls because of the lack of remorse being shown about Rebecca’s death. They were both charged with felony aggravated stalking.
The bullying of Rebecca Sedwick began at Crystal Lake Middle School in December 2012 when the 14-year-old began dating a boy Rebecca had previously gone out with. She then began taunting Rebecca at school and online, calling her “ugly” and urging Rebecca to kill herself. The girl also involved Rebecca in two different physical altercations, once with Rebecca herself, and later, by urging the 12-year-old who was also arrested to get into a fight with Rebecca at school. The 12-year-old was formerly one of Rebecca’s closest friends, until the 14-year-old persuaded her to also begin hating Rebecca and urged her to “beat up” Rebecca at school in February of this year. Police have indicated that the 12-year-old has, at least once, expressed remorse about the whole situation.
Both girls were released into their parents’ care and placed on house arrest until they are to appear in court.
Rebecca had recently begun at a new school, transferring from Crystal Lake Middle at the start of the 2013-2014 term in an effort to escape her tormentors. Sadly, the bullying continued online until Rebecca jumped to her death from a tower at an abandoned concrete plant on September 9.
Rebecca’s mother, Tricia Norman, said that she had seen the numerous messages from a reported 15 girls who had been recruited to bully Rebecca; the 14-year-old had obtained allies in the fight against Sedwick by scaring the other girls into submission, for fear that they could also be targeted.
One message that Rebecca’s mother cannot get out of her mind, Norman recalls, told Rebecca: “You haven’t killed yourself yet. Go jump off a building.” She also said other posts told Rebecca to “drink bleach and die.”
Authorities in Lakeland did release the names of the two girls arrested; however, as they are both juveniles, no news media sources have identified the girls by name in reports on the case.
Image courtesy Rebecca Ann Sedwick via Facebook.