Two arrested in Florida online bullying death of 12-year-old girl

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The girls were arrested Monday night and released to their parents’ custody. Judd said the 14-year-old was “very cold, had no emotion at all upon her arrest.”

The girls remain on home detention.

The younger girl was Rebecca’s former best friend, but the sheriff said the older girl turned her and others against Rebecca, out of fear they would be bullied, too.

Before her death, Rebecca changed one of her online screen names to “That Dead Girl” and she messaged a boy in North Carolina: “I’m jumping.” Detectives found some of her diaries at her home, and she talked of how depressed she was about the situation.

Last December, Rebecca was hospitalized for three days after cutting her wrists because of what she said was bullying, according to the sheriff. Later, after Rebecca complained that she had been pushed in the hallway and that another girl wanted to fight her, Rebecca’s mother began home-schooling her in Lakeland, a city of about 100,000 midway between Tampa and Orlando, Judd said.

This fall, Rebecca started at a new school, Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, but the bullying continued online, authorities said.

Judd said he was upset the girls who were arrested still had access to social networks, even after Rebecca’s suicide.

“If we can find any charges we can bring against their parents, we will,” Judd said.

• Kay reported from Miami.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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