UN-SOCIAL MEDIA

Nude Snapchat Leak Drove Teen Girl to Suicide

Tovonna Holton killed herself after her friend posted a photo of her showering on Snapchat that was then shared with other students, her mom said.

via Facebook

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated throughout.

A 15-year-old Florida girl committed suicide after friends allegedly recorded her in the shower, then posted the video on Snapchat.

Tampa mom Levon Holton-Teamer told WFLA that her daughter, Tovonna, was upset about the bullying before she killed herself Sunday.

Now, according to one friend, Tovonna’s ex-boyfriend got hold of the nude recording and posted it on Twitter after they broke up.

The couple had been fighting the night before Tovonna died, longtime pal Christian Coyle-Watts told The Daily Beast, and broke up Sunday morning.

“Tovonna knew [her friend] posted the video, but Tovonna’s boyfriend posted it, trying to expose her in a derogatory way,” Coyle-Watts said. “He did it just because he knew he could, and it would hurt her feelings.”

A sheriff’s department spokesman told The Daily Beast he hadn’t heard of the allegations against Tovonna’s boyfriend.

Tovonna’s mom tried to piece together what happened to her daughter to WFLA.

“Tovonna would say, ‘Mommy, I owe them; I owe them’. I said, ‘What do you mean you owe them?’ I couldn’t understand what was wrong,” Holton-Teamer said.

Hours later, Tovonna’s mother found her in the bathroom with a gunshot wound to the head around 6 p.m. The high-schooler had apparently used her mother’s handgun, which was stashed in her purse, to kill herself.

“I couldn’t get in the bathroom,” Holton-Teamer said tearfully on camera. “The bathroom light was off so I tried to get in and I looked down and I saw the puddle of blood. I tried to apply the pressure, the pressure to her head. I tried to save her.”

The girl’s family went on Facebook to seek answers, WFLA reported.

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“They say her friends recorded her in the tub while she was naked and then posted it on Snapchat,” Stefonique Collier, Tovonna’s niece, told The Daily Beast.

Relatives would later learn a close friend allegedly published the nude images—shared with dozens of classmates—without Tovonna’s permission, the mother said.

“I just said, ‘If anybody knows anything, what happened? Have you heard of anything? Do you know who these kids are who have the pictures?’” Tovonna’s aunt, Angel Scott, told WFLA. “I thought it was just pictures and then the kids started inboxing me.”

Scott soon discovered the bullying went as far as nude video of Tovonna, who attended Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel.

“They say her friends recorded her in the tub while she was naked and then posted it on Snapchat,” Stefonique Collier, Tovonna’s niece, told The Daily Beast.

After Tovonna’s friend posted the shower recording on Snapchat, people began taking screenshots and sharing them, friend Zoe Vereen said.

Collier said she saw Tovonna, who just turned 15, at the beach last week.

They were “calling her names,” Vereen told The Daily Beast.

Coyle-Watts said Tovonna’s Snapchat recording was meant to be a “body appreciation” post before the ex-boyfriend allegedly published it.

The ex-boyfriend mourned her death on Twitter, writing, “She was so beautiful” and “I wish I can go back in time and prevent all of this.”

“No one is at fault,” he continued in another tweet. “She had problems going on that no one knew about. Let my angel rest in peace.”

In an interview with The Daily Beast on Friday, Lumbano denied posting the Snapchat footage on Twitter or elsewhere. In fact, he says, he and Tovonna had a fight Saturday because he didn’t want Tovonna to post the images.

“She never even cared about the snap,” Lumbano said in a phone call. “But I didn’t want people to see my girlfriend … showing too much.”

He called the bullying allegations untrue, and said Tovonna had other problems vexing her, including arguments with her parents.

Lumbano said he last saw her Sunday morning. He and other friends were hanging out at Tovonna’s house while her mom wasn’t home. They scrammed when Tovonna’s mother came home, and she got into trouble, Lumbano claims.

Lumbano showed The Daily Beast a screenshot of his final text messages with Tovonna, who indicated she was being severely punished.

“My mom hates me. I literally fuck up everything. I'm such a fuckup and I can't do anything anymore,” she wrote. “I'm truly sorry and I'll always love you.”

Friends and family described Tovonna as a fun-loving girl who played flag football.

“She was always laughing,” Collier said. “Everything, it would be the craziest things, she would always be laughing, always smiling.”

In a heartfelt Facebook tribute, family friend Shannon Nicole wrote, “This angel and her family were a part of our cheer family years ago,” adding that Tovonna “had such a fun spirit and so full of energy.”

“I hate that she had to endure such malice and hurt because of cyberbullying,” the friend wrote. “We need to teach our youth and many young adults about the value of life, compassion and empathy.”

Holton-Teamer told WFLA that Tovonna had been bullied in the past and that she was considering taking her out of the school next year.

A spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the case is under investigation.

“The detectives are looking into all angles,” Eddie Daniels told The Daily Beast.

Wiregrass Ranch High School referred requests for comment to the Pasco County School District.

“At this time, along with the family we’re mourning the loss of Tovonna Holton,” Spencer Pylant, a spokesman for the district, told The Daily Beast. “We’re working with the Pasco sheriff’s office. We’ve turned everything over to them.”

Meanwhile, Holton-Teamer’s friends changed their Facebook profile photos to collages of Tovonna’s face with the words “stop bullying now!” Others asked for help in nabbing the students who harassed Tovonna.

“I want them to pay, to feel what we feeling, even if their child is convicted or in trouble they can go visit their child,” Scott told WFLA.