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9-year-old's choking game death ruled accidental | News

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9-year-old's choking game death ruled accidental

Lakeland, Florida - The life of Twan'ya Boyd was taken way too soon.

The 9-year-old was found on Thanksgiving with a belt around her neck, hanging from a doorknob.  Her death was the result of a deadly game where children all over the country are choking themselves.

Sgt. Terri Smith from the Lakeland Police says, "I don't think children at that age understand the consequences of their actions. They probably never think its going to happen to them."

What surprised people the most is that the third-grader had a seemingly perfect life. She had a mother, father and stepfather who loved her.

She spent most of her time in church singing in the choir and being a good student at Highlands Grove Elementary.  It was her first year at the school since her family moved from Plant City.

"They don't have a finality of the concept of death," said Sgt. Smith.

Police have ruled the death an accident.

Twan'ya told her family that evening that she was going inside to fix noodles.  When they found her, a belt was around her neck.

Kids play the game to pass out and get a euphoric feeling. Its the "high" that they are chasing, and its becoming deadly.

Chaplain John Ingrassia from the Lakeland Police Department was there moments after the little girl was found.

He says the parents were in shock.

"Too many times these kids play these video games and they are alive one minute and dead the next. Then, they come back to life. They don't understand this choking game is final," he told us.

Twan'ya had been playing the game for two months and had seen her teenage relatives play. One of them told her not to play because it was dangerous, but he didn't feel it was necessary to tell an adult.

The police say that's absolutely the wrong thing to do.

"Kids need to tell someone," said Sgt. Smith. "If they see this, they need to tell someone, so that this won't happen again."


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