Wichita Falls Mother Believes Daughter’s Suicide Was Part of Online Challenge
Sandy Cadena believes her daughter Natasha took her own life earlier this month as part of an online trend called the "Blue Whale Challenge".
Natasha Cadena, a 32-year-old Rider Alumni who attended MSU and University of Arizona, was found dead in her apartment in southwest Wichita Falls on July 4th, hanging by her neck with her phone found below her. Sandy believes Natasha was compelled to kill herself through participating in the "Blue Whale Challenge", where strangers challenge each other to perform various acts online, ranging from innocent dares to self-mutilation, with filmed suicide being the final challenge. Sandy told Times Record News that Natasha had harmed herself through the instruction of another woman online,
Natasha was told to do hurtful things to herself. She would cut herself, around her neck, other places, and then show this woman, take a video of the cuts.
These people pay top dollar to watch someone kill themselves.
Sandy has identified the woman Natasha had been talking to as "Loretta". The relationship between Natasha and Loretta began with casual chats online, with Natasha and Sandy believing Loretta lives in France due to having an international number from that area. Calls between Natasha and Loretta began to include challenges, and demands of money from Loretta, to which Sandy says Natasha was sending $300 a month. It was actually Loretta who called Sandy to tell her about Natasha's death,
Somehow she got my number and she told me, 'Hey, you might want to go check on your daughter. I think she just killed herself.' I said, no way. But Natasha wouldn't answer her phone. So we rushed to her apartment. She wouldn't answer her door. When I reached for my phone to call 911, Loretta was calling again.
Sandy acknowledges Natasha's past suicidal thoughts, but doesn't believe she was currently having them or was actively planning on it, citing such things as Natasha recently buying groceries (“No one kills themselves with a pantry full of groceries, a refrigerator full of groceries.") and knowing Natasha wouldn't want to leave her 7-year-old daughter Bella alone.
According to Sgt. Harold McClure of the Wichita Falls Police Department, Natasha's death is being ruled a suicide, but the case is still open.
Many other deaths have been reported as part of the "Blue Whale Challenge", with over a hundred reported deaths in Russia, and a suicide in San Francisco a week after Natasha's.