Dutch teen, 16, killed in "choking game"

Ambulance
Ambulance. Photo: Politie

A 16-year-old boy from Arkel was killed in the May vacation while doing the "choking game" - an online challenge in which you choke yourself. As far as is known, he is the first Dutch fatality in this challenge, the Volkskrant reports.

Tim Reynders' parents told his story to the newspaper to warn other parents of the dangers of this and other internet challenges. They found their son dead after returning from a musical they attended with their daughter in nearby Gorinchem one Saturday night. Tim wanted to stay home - he'd rather game than go to musicals, they said to the newspaper.

The first assumption was suicide - although there were no indications that the boy was suicidal and investigators soon ruled out that scenario.

Tim filmed what happened to him on his smartphone. With a bathrobe belt tied around his neck, he slipped on the stairs and lost consciousness. Earlier that evening, he watched a video on YouTube on how to tie a noose. No evidence was found that he tried anything similar before that night.

His parents described Tim as a calm, cautious and gifted boy with PDD-NOS - a developmental disorder in the autism spectrum - which made it difficult for him to handle changes. He did not like taking risks. 

Tim's school called his death a fatal accident in a letter to all parents. The school also organized guest lessons in which internet challenges were discussed with the students. 

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