Two girls have been arrested in the death of a 12-year-old central Florida girl who authorities say committed suicide after being bulled online for nearly a year, a sheriff said. The girls are 12 and 14, and they have been charged with felony aggravated stalking, Polk County authorities say. Officials have said Rebecca Sedwick was "terrorized" by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her for months using online message boards and texts. On Sept. 9, authorities say, Rebecca climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and hurled herself to her death.
The bullying began over a "boyfriend issue," and Rebecca had become depressed, Sheriff Grady Judd has said. After the suicide, police looked at her computer and found searches for topics including "what is overweight for a 13-year-old girl," and suicide methods. One of her screensavers also showed Rebecca with her head resting on a railroad track. Florida has a bullying law named after a teenager who killed himself after being harassed by classmates. Amended July 1 to cover cyberbullying, the law leaves punishment to schools, though law enforcement also can seek more traditional charges.