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Page last updated at 23:55 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Florida boy's suicide live on web

Abraham Biggs
Biggs killed himself after announcing his intentions in a blog

A teenager in the US state of Florida has committed suicide in front of a live internet audience.

Abraham Biggs, 19, from Pembroke Pines, near Miami, killed himself hours after announcing his intention to do so on his blog.

His family have condemned the website viewers and operators for failing to save him. Local police have launched an investigation.

Authorities say Abraham Biggs took an overdose of anti-depressive drugs.

He posted messages online telling people he was going to kill himself and then started streaming live pictures from his home.

Abraham Biggs's father and sister pay tributes

Reports say that some of viewers who logged in to watch began to encourage the teenager to commit suicide, others tried to dissuade him.

After several hours, when he had not moved some viewers finally notified the site's moderator, who then called the police.

The boy's sister said: "They got hits, they got viewers, nothing happened for hours."

It is unclear how many people watched the suicide unfold. Some reports suggest that some viewers thought it was a hoax.

The last transmission from the webcam is of a police officer bursting into Abraham Biggs's room, when he discovers his body and then he places his hand over the camera.

The footage has since been taken down and his father is now calling for more regulation of chatrooms.

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