The cyber boyfriend wasn't real; suicide was

  • Updated: November 17, 2007 - 6:01 PM

Parents of a girl, 13, want the prosecution of people who created the boy who broke their daughter's heart.

DARDENNE PRAIRIE, MO. - Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her.

Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel.

The next day, Megan hanged herself. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's.

Now Megan's parents hope the people who made the fraudulent profile on the social networking website will be prosecuted, and they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the Internet.

The girl's mother, Tina Meier, said she doesn't think anyone involved intended for her daughter to kill herself.

"But when adults are involved and continue to screw with a 13-year-old, with or without mental problems, it is absolutely vile," she told the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, which first reported on the case.

Tina Meier said law enforcement officials told her the case did not fit into any law. But sheriff's officials, who have not closed the case, pledged to consider new evidence if it emerges.

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