A 12-year-old Ohio boy, Tristan Casson, was recently found dead after attempting the viral TikTok “Blackout Challenge,” his family said.
According to Yahoo News, Tristan’s mother, Taylor Davis, said he died by strangulation on Dec. 6, after trying the dangerous viral challenge. That day, her sons notified her via FaceTime that they found the 12-year-old unresponsive in his bedroom. The call prompted her to contact police before 9:30 p.m., as she was just down the street from her home in the 500 block of Forsythia Lane at the time.
“They called me and said, ‘Mom, Tristan is dead,’ and I just started to panic,” she told the outlet.
As part of the “Blackout Challenge,” participants are challenged to hold their breath until they pass out, which Tristan reportedly did. Richmond Heights paramedics took him to Hillcrest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and the incident is currently under investigation, police Chief Thomas Wetzel shared. He additionally sent his condolences to the victim’s family.
Taylor said she doesn’t think her son was suicidal but that he was simply a victim of a viral internet trend. She added that the sixth grader always tried new dances and other things that were popular on TikTok and had a bright future ahead of him. He was reportedly the first student at Richmond Middle School to obtain a license to fly a drone.
“He couldn’t wait for Christmas and the basketball season to start,” Davis said. “We always talked about goals, and he was excited for the future. He loved his family and his friends. He and his siblings are like peanut butter and jelly,” the 12-year-old’s devastated mother said.
Her friend, Tanisha Watson, created a GoFundMe to help the deceased young boy’s relatives cover funeral expenses.
“I just wish that TikTok would ban these types of challenges from going around,” Tanisha said. “It is killing our babies.”
New Onyx first reported about the “Blackout Challenge” in 2021, as another 12-year-old, Joshua Haileyesus from Colorado, died from the TikTok craze in April of that year. Months later, in December, the challenge claimed the life of yet another 12-year-old from Pennsylvania, Nylah Anderson. Nylah’s parents reportedly sued the social media giant to no avail.