A 12-year-old girl from Argentina reportedly died after attempting the “choking challenge,” a deadly trend popular on TikTok.
On Friday, Milagros Soto was found with a rope wrapped around her neck when her father arrived home from work, discovering her body in her bedroom, according to an autopsy report obtained by Argentinian media outlet El Litoral.
Reports have said that she was livestreaming the challenge to her friends at school at the time of her death. Jam Press reported that she had successfully tried the challenge twice, but failed to remove the rope on her third attempt.
“We are inconsolable [because] we gave her so much love,” the victim’s aunt, Laura Luque, told Jam Press of the tragedy, which occurred in the city of Capitán Bermudez, Santa Fe Province.
Luque said that her niece had been sent a WhatsApp message from another student who had linked the challenge, adding that her daughter had been bullied at school.
“I believe someone encouraged her to do it,” the bereaved relative stated. “She suffered a lot with bullying.”
The challenge isn’t a new one. Sometimes called the “blackout challenge,” the trend encourages participants to choke themselves until they pass out, or nearly pass out. The Daily Beast reported that the trend has been involved in the deaths of at least 20 children and teenagers since mid-2021.
Experts have warned the viral trend can result in fainting, brain damage, seizures and worse, according to the New York Post.
“TikTok did not respond to request for comment from The Post,” the outlet reported. “In the past, the streaming platform has denied responsibility for the ongoing issue, saying ‘choking game’ injuries from young people long predate the blackout challenge.”
“Meanwhile, TikTok users are encouraged to flag anybody engaged in the challenge by clicking the symbol that says ‘Report,’” the Post continued.