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Unveiling Jen's Heart-Wrenching Journey: Navigating the Tragic Loss of Her Son to Cyber Bullying
“The final PSA is here...to say the past 11 months have been exhausting is an understatement, but we have one last story to tell, and I hope everyone reads this, and warns their kids! We always said something was not adding up in our house the morning Braden passed away, never in a million years did we think it was as bad as it is! The hoops we had to jump through to figure it out never should have happened either, but here we are.
Braden had an amazing weekend of football, as always he celebrated by ordering his favorite food gengi go on Saturday, then spent the rest of the night doing homework, playing xbox with his cousins and sleeping...typical life of a teenager right, but then came Sunday morning. He woke up, smiling as usual, started working on his driver's ed test, and getting more school work done. At 11:01 some cyber bully friended Braden on instagram, posing as a hs girl. They messaged back and forth for about 5 minutes, then all of a sudden he/ she or they wanted Braden to message using Google Hangout app...you ask what this is I am sure, it is basically messenger linked in their gmail accounts if they have gmail. What is a teen boy to do, but of course start messaging in the app (remember he had a great weekend of football, had amazing pictures taken, and always had that gorgeous smile)well needless to say the predator was not a hs girl, and things went south within 30 minutes!!!
Messaging went on from 11:01-11:28 that morning. The predator hacked Braden's instagram pictures. The predator of course sent B pictures of what he believed to be a girl, but unfortunately was not! The next 5 minutes the monster kept hounding B to send a picture, he repeatedly says no I am only 15, and then he would get off the messenger, the hacker kept the pressure up...why not you saw me, etc etc..B says it over and over nah, but this monster was not stopping! If B got off the account, the hacker would hound him on his instagram messenger...eventually B caved, and sent a picture the monster knew exactly what to say and what to post to get into a 15 year olds brain! He made a video up using B's insta pictures of he and his friends from that weekend,his cousins, and threatened him he had to pay $1800 or else the monster was going to post this video! The person told B looks like you live in a rich area, looks like you have money, looks like you have great friends, don't want them to see this do you...the messages go on and on for 27 minutes! The last 5 minutes of B's life he said over and over again, I am only 15 why are you doing this to me, I am only 15, you will ruin my life it is a thread that in a way I wish I never read, but here we are
Make sure you talk to your kids about online cyber crimes! Make sure you tell them over and over that when they make a mistake to come to you, nothing is worth their lives! We thought our kids knew we would bail them out of anything (if it warranted), but here we are..and for the record B was NOT the first kid targeted within the Olentangy District. Delaware County is on the rise of these predators! I have heard from many their stories, we can't help our kids if we don't speak up, and warn them, and try to stop these predators, and you can't warn them unless you know about it!
Now we go back to my PSA #1 regarding Apple not unlocking a minor's phone. I still do not know how this is allowed bc in this mother's eyes, apple just protected a murderer/child pedophile for 10 months, and I wonder how many families have been affected by the same person who is just running free! Change needs to happen, it needed to happen a long time ago! We pay for these kids phones, they are not 18, what privacy does a minor not paying for a phone have (they can't even vote at this age, and no you should not need a court order to open a minor's phone)!!It should be up to the parents, but apparently it isn't! The article circulating regarding the 17 year old MI kid, we will always wonder could his life have been saved if apple would have opened B's phone up 10 months earlier! We may never know!
Onto PSA #2 the supplements B also started that weekend. They very well could still play a huge part in why B could not have controlled his emotions/ thought process in those 30 minutes. They are still out west at the anti-doping lab being analyzed for an anabolic steroid! Yep you heard me, apparently that is a thing these days too! Supplements were tainted in 2020 with anabolic steroids, and college athletes lost their scholarships from being drug tested not knowing the supplements were tainted, who knew, I wish we did not know this. If you ever ? What your teenager wants to put into their body, the FDA has a tainted supplements page go check it out for yourself! (I have the 30 page court case of the college athlete that tested positive for steroids, and lost his MLB career over it, and it just happened to another player in 2022, if anyone wants to read it)!
I tell this story in the hopes it helps one family out! Talk to your kids! Tell them over and over you love them, and will bail their asses out no matter what! Tell them if they think something is not right to speak up!! My exact words to B & his buddies--you are stupid teens (I said this nicely to them ) With undeveloped frontal lobes and you are impulsive and going to make mistakes, but it is not the end of the world! You live and learn that is part of life!
Now we need everyone to PRAY the monster and/or monsters are caught! The best of the best are assigned to B's case! Braden deserves this and much more! NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED!! We live in a scary world!! Our youth are being targeted!!! #LLBM #22 #7” - Jen, OH
Jen's Link Look- Braden Markus Beaded Bracelet
25% of net proceeds from this product are donated to the Braden Markus Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund in Braden's name will go to high school seniors who will be participating in an extracurricular activity in college.