Back in 2014, suicides tripled for young girls in the U.S. — totaling 150. That same year, David and Norma Walker’s daughter, Sadie, took her life on Christmas Day.
“It was a beautiful Christmas Day. We started off opening presents. The kids get up early, Sadie was sleeping in a little, so she came down a little later. But she had gotten everything she wanted — a couple shirts and a long board,” David Walker told NewsFix. “She wanted to go out and take a spin around the neighborhood and we said, ‘No problem, that’s fine.’ And she went out the door, and that’s the last we saw of her.”
“A boy’s dad called me and said, ‘I just want you to know we got an alarming call from Sadie. She was saying she was going to kill herself.’ And I’m like, ‘What is this — a joke?’” explained Norma.
“Norma calls me and said, ‘I just got a call talking about suicide.’ And I just said call 911, and shortly thereafter, two officers arrived, and the day just went form a happy Christmas Day to just a day that has caused lasting pain,” David said.
After Sadie’s death, her parents discovered a secret Instagram account.
“It went back maybe six weeks. The early posts were, she’s reaching out to kids that were talking about suicide. She was all about, this was not the answer, but slowly it got worse, and worse, and worse. The posts got darker and darker. Online problems cannot be solved with online solutions,” David said.
Sadie’s story quickly spread online.
“Several people found it right away and immediately it went viral. We were talking to one therapist and she said, ‘Oh yeah, I knew about you before you even walked in, as my son who doesn’t even go to your school, two districts away read about it.’ It felt that our privacy was violated. It was an additional trauma on top of other,” said David.
With their daughter’s personal life exposed online, the Walkers decide to speak out.
“We need to shed light on it,” Norma said. “We need shed light and keep the lights on. We need to talk about it. Kids need to understand that’s not the solution.”