A Florida teenager known for her big smile and desire to write a book some day hanged herself on Facebook Live inside a Miami foster home.
Naika Venant, 14, is one of three people to commit suicide on Facebook Live in the past month. (Some major news sites give Venant’s first name as Nakia and others as Naika. However, many Florida-based news outlets say the girl’s name was spelled Naika.)
Venant’s own mother, Gina Caze, is now accused of having “watched and written messages on her estranged 14-year old daughter’s social media post accusing her of seeking attention and crying wolf,” the Sun reports. The news site says Caze’s lawyer denies she saw the suicide, though.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Horrific Live Video Streamed For Two Hours
In the tragic video, Naika wrote, “I Don’t Wanna Live No More,” and added “three sad-faced emojis,” the Associated Press reported.
Naika committed suicide by hanging herself in the bathroom at the foster home where she was staying, according to the New York Daily News. The newspaper reported that Naika’s friends said her suicide played out online.
The live stream “showed the teen using a scarf to make a homemade noose,” the Daily News reported. The girl used the name “Hothead Nikee” on Facebook.
At least one friend called police, but by the time they arrived, it was too late, according to Teen Vogue.
Another friend wrote on Facebook, “SIP my love… You will always and forever be my Diamond 💎. To all of you that mocked her as I watched her take her last breath… God still loves you… I pray that He unhardens your heart.”
2. Venant’s Mother’s Attorney Accuses the System of Not Getting Her Proper Help
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Howard M. Talenfeld, president of the Florida’s Children First advocacy group, and an attorney for Venant’s mother, said in a press conference Wednesday that “case workers knew Naika had serious mental health problems.”
The newspaper quoted the attorney as saying that the “courts had ordered intensive therapy” and she was hospitalized “after it was determined she was a danger to herself.”
However, she was released. After Naika’s death, the secretary of the Florida Department of Children & Families told The Miami Herald: “We are absolutely horrified and devastated by the news of this young girl’s death.”
As the video streamed, concerned and shocked friends wrote comments on Naika’s wall. Although the video is no longer there, some of the comments remain.
Among them, “I’m not sure if u really killed yaself but imma let u know that’s not how u solve yo problems baby girl fr if u kill yourself don’t think u gone be in a better place cause your not your gonna wish u never killed yo self onnareal ❤❤❤❤❤fr don’t do that dumb shiii 😢😒😒😔😔.”
3. The Teen Was Sexually Abused in Foster Care
Naika was sexually abused in foster care by a teenage boy, according to the Miami Herald, which reported she was placed in foster care because, her mother’s attorney said, of alleged excessive “corporal punishment” by the mother.
Naika had also run away from home, the newspaper reported.
Another friend shared a chilling conversation on Facebook:
Another friend wrote, “Police was at my house I gave them her name but they said on the thing they know were she at they just left my crib ig the found the foster home she at.”
And another implored Naika: “You need to answer these people if you are alive.”
4. Naika Had Been Shuttled Among Ten Foster Homes
Venant’s attorney said the troubled teenager had been shuffled from foster home to foster home – as many as 10, according to the Associated Press.
She was in foster care for half her life, the AP reported.
Police might have gotten to Naika on time but the friend who called them gave them the wrong address, the Miami Herald reported, adding that the foster parents were asleep when the suicide occurred around 3 a.m.
5. Naika Was Described as a Smart 8th Grader Who Hoped to Write a Book
Despite the struggles in her life, those who knew Naika described the teen’s potential.
A family friend told the Miami Herald that Naika was “smart academically” with a big smile and charisma and “her dream was to write a book on her life.”
Naika’s sister wrote on her Facebook page, “This Is Nike Sister I’m Not Answering Any Calls Stop Calling Yes Nike Passed Away This Morning Im Logged Into Her Facebook There Has Been No Information Given About A Funereal I Will Announce If Anything Come Up
– Big Sis ❤”
On Facebook, the teen had posted several other Facebook Live videos in recent months, many of them filled with music, her making expressive faces at the camera, and some of them quite lengthy. You can see them here.
Read more about Naika Venant in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: