A high school senior who was found dead after claiming his own life last week was the victim of sextortion, according to local authorities and his family.
Streetsboro police and the family of the victim, 17-year-old James Woods, are saying that he took his life because he was being extorted for sexual pictures or acts on camera by an adult pretending to be his age, 13ABC reported.
James was a senior at Streetsboro High School and a member of the track and cross country team.
He died on Nov. 19.
Patricia Wain, the Chief of Police in Streetsboro, shared that his parents, Tamia and Timothy Woods, are speaking out about what happened to their son because they want to “prevent further tragedy.”
“Please talk to your children and make sure you know what is going on with them,” Tamia and Timothy Woods said.
Streetsboro police and Streetsboro City Schools Superintendent R. Michael Daulbaugh said that more students are being targeted for sextortion, 13ABC reported.
“It is our hope that in sharing the message, we open up the lines of communication between children, parents, educators and police,” Wain said.
Those whose children have been victimized are encouraged to call the police department at 330-626-4976. If there is any information that relates to the sextortion, police say to screenshot anything that could be of use.
“Educate! We want to educate families about sextortion, and we want to encourage all families to make sure they are checking their kids’ social media accounts and making sure they are staying safe,” Tamia and Timothy Woods said.