Authorities Probe Why NJ Girl, 8, in Time Out Killed Herself

Investigators said they are still trying to determine what drove an 8-year-old New Jersey girl to suicide a week before her birthday, but sources close to the investigation said she had seen a story on Facebook about another girl killing herself in a similar manner beforehand. Brian Thompson reports.

(Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

What to Know

  • Imani McCray, 8, killed herself in her family's Newark home Sunday after being sent there for a time-out

  • Sources say she had seen a story on Facebook about the suicide of Ashawnty Davis, a bullied 10-year-old in Colorado

  • There's no indication that Imani was bullied, but investigators are still trying to determine how the Colorado incident played a factor

Investigators said they are still trying to determine what drove an 8-year-old New Jersey girl to suicide a week before her birthday, but sources close to the investigation said she had seen a story on Facebook about another girl killing herself in a similar manner beforehand.

Essex County prosecutors said they're trying to determine if Imani McCray was copying what she had read about the death of 10-year-old Colorado girl Ashawnty Davis, or if she hanged herself in a case of tragic playacting at her home in Vailsburg on Sunday night.

Authorities said that relatives frantically tried to revive McCray, who had been sent to her room for a time out just before the suicide attempt. She had a faint pulse when paramedics arrived on scene, but prosecutors said she was pronounced dead at University Hospital in Newark.

McCray died less than a week after Davis, who was bullied before her death. The Aurora, Colorado, fifth-grader's suicide has also gained widespread media attention.

Authorities said that there is no indication that McCray was bullied.

The family is making funeral arrangements, according to a family friend. McCray would have turned 9 next week.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support. The Crisis Text Line allows people to text 741-741 to connect with crisis counselors.