Popular YouTube streamer and former model Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah was found dead this morning less than a week after he was reported missing. According to a statement from the New York Police Department, authorities responded to a 911 call and discovered his body floating in the East River.
Etika was a 29-year-old live streamer from Brooklyn, New York who amassed over 660,000 YouTube subscribers, 320,000 Twitter followers, and 248,000 Instagram followers. He also has a subreddit dedicated to him that currently has 7,000 subscribers. He was well known in the Nintendo community and known for his over-the-top reactions to gaming news and videos.
He was also a model before starting his streaming career. He was very active on social media and posted several times about how he was unhappy living in the public eye and his dislike for social media. He’s had several public meltdowns that apparently stem from his mental health issues.
Just 6 weeks before his death, Etika was involved in a confrontation that ended with him punching a police officer in the face.
Incredibly, he was not arrested for the incident even though assault on a police officer is a Class C Felony that carries a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison. According to a source close to him, he was instead turned into a mental health ward at a local New York hospital.
He was later released without being charged due to his history of mental health disorders.
He Posted a Video Before Disappearing
Etika went missing on June 19 and several of his belongings were found along the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. Before he went missing, Etika uploaded a video to his YouTube channel that’s since been deleted titled “Im Sorry.”
“I’m sorry to those of you who I betrayed,” he said in the video. “I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy. I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube be a better place somehow in the future, to where people know boundaries and limits and how far things should go.”
Etika said he needed help for his “mental illness,” and warned his followers about excessive social media use. “Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of this social media shit, man. It can fuck you up. It can give you an image of what you want your life to be and it can get blown completely out of proportion, dog,” before adding, “Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
History of Public Mental Health Issues
In addition to his videos, Etika was known for his history of mental health issues and public meltdowns. Back in April, right before the police incident, he posted a Twitter rant that included anti-semitic tweets among other disturbing content. He then blocked all of his fans and collaborators in the live streaming community.
Fellow streamer Fiona Nova said Etika has “Bipolar disorder/Hypo-Mania” and has had “numerous manic episodes in the past”. Following his behavior, friends and fans called the police who broke into his home.
The incident shut down an entire block in Brooklyn as Etika was safely removed from his home and taken to the hospital to be evaluated. He was not arrested at the time.
This incident occurred only 3 days before he punched the police officer on May 1. After a tumultuous few days, Etika seemed to be seeking help for his mental disorders before disappearing in June. His exact cause of death has not been confirmed by police as of yet.