Popular YouTube gamer Etika, 29, was found dead today after he had been missing for more than a week. Desmond Amofah, known as Etika on social media, uploaded a video on June 19, 2019, that appeared to be a suicide letter to fans. He had not been seen alive his June 20, 2019.
According to a press release by the New York Police Department, the body of Desmond Amofah was pulled from the East River in New York.
In the video, Etika walked around New York. He told viewers that he was saying goodbye forever. Etika expressed regret for his actions and apologized for leaving a stained legacy. Additionally, he left heartfelt messages to his family and the sadness of leaving the world behind.
After he uploaded the video, fans and other YouTube gamers became concerned about his safety. The New York Police Department issued a missing person’s bulletin after many people reported the video to authorities.
Etika admitted to viewers that he was suffering from mental illness but refused to get help. Instead, he said he allowed himself to become sucked into his social media persona. Due to his internet fame, Etika stated that he felt there were no consequences for his behavior. He ended the video by telling people his story was a cautionary tale for the dangers of allowing social media to consume you.
The New York Post shared these quotes from the video:
“I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy,” he said in the video, which has been reposted by others. “I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place in the future where people know boundaries and limits and how far things should go.”
“You know I wasn’t suicidal before — I really wasn’t. But one thing I didn’t realize was that the walls were closing around me so fast. I really had no intention of killing myself but I’d always push it too far,” he added. “I guess I am mentally ill.”
For months, Etika had been demonstrating problematic and erratic behavior online. His YouTube channel was terminated in October 2018 after he uploaded porn to his channel. After the channel termination, he spent time in a psychiatric hospital.
Then in April 2019, Eitka live streamed a standoff with police. The standoff followed a series of troubling tweets and a photo of Etika posing with a gun.
At the time, New York police told the media that they responded to a suicide threat at his apartment. Authorities said that Etika had a long history with mental illness. Following the incident, doctors admitted him to a Brooklyn hospital.
By May, Etika was in trouble again after he assaulted a police officer. His ex-girlfriend Alice Pika tweeted that police took him to the hospital rather than arresting him. She told fans that she urged doctors to keep him at the facility longer than a day.
After he uploaded the video, YouTube removed it for violating their community guidelines. Several people attempted to re-upload the video but thus far, YouTube has taken all of them down. On Twitter, fans begged for help in finding Etika.
However, on Friday, June 21, New York Police said they found Etika’s backpack and other belongs on the Manhattan Bridge. On June 25, police recovered his body from the East River.
After police recovered his body, Etika’s name began trending on Twitter. Fans started sharing memories, condolences, and sadness for his untimely death.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 to help anyone in crisis. Call 1-800-273-8255. Visit their website here.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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