Teen dies after taking part in online challenge


An El Paso, Texas couple is mourning the loss of their son after they say he took part in the Blue Whale Challenge

The couple is now warning other parents to be vigilant.

Deangelo Bristow was 14 and had just started at Mission Early College High School.

His parents, Maria and Anthony Bristow, said he was a bright kid who was excited for the future.

They believe he committed suicide in early October because of the social media challenge.

"The way we found Deangelo, the tablet facing him. It just made sense then," Maria Bristow said.

The challenge consists of a series of tasks, which are to be completed in a span of 50 days.

They start off small, and build up over time.

During the process, the participant is in touch with an online administrator or curator who tells them what to do and when to do it.

The final task is committing suicide.

"He was a respectful young man, he was an amazing child, he was just what a mom would want," Maria Bristow said.

The Bristows told CBS4 they hadn't even heard of the Blue Whale Challenge until after Deangelo's death.

"He texted my other niece and he'd mentioned the Blue Whale Challenge," they said.

Now they want other El Paso families to be aware of this hidden danger children could be facing online.

"I want to let parents know to check kids and see if they changed the codes in their tablets or their computers, because his [password] was changed," Anthony Bristow said.

The Bristows said Deangelo had dreams of working with computers and had a passion for karate.

But that was all taken away too soon.

Now they hope they can prevent a similar tragedy from happening to other families in the Borderland.

"Parents need to know what's going on. I want parents to just speak about it and not be quiet about it. There's hundreds of parents, thousands of parents, who don't know anything about this challenge," Maria Bristow said.

The Bristows say they'll continue to be outspoken about it so they can get the word out to as many parents as they can.

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