A 16 year-old girl killed herself after school bullies taunted her about her forehead, how much she ate, and for being gay. Riley Garrigus shot herself dead with one of her dad Ralph’s guns in April 2017, with Ralph and his wife Angie – Riley’s mom – now sharing how bullies ground their daughter down.
Ralph, from Sedalia in Missouri, said: ‘They beat her down so far that she didn’t have any fight left in her. And that doesn’t happen in days or weeks. That happens in months or years.
‘She was one of the strongest people you’d ever meet. So it was hard to understand that she could be put down that far to do what she did.’
On the day of Riley’s death, she went to see the counsellor at Smith-Cotton High School, and spent 45 minutes crying inconsolably. Her counsellor made her promise to go home and tell her parents what had happened, but Ralph and Angie are still unsure of what exactly pushed Riley past her breaking point.
She came home happy that evening, and enjoyed reminiscing with Angie about her childhood. In the early hours of the next morning, she took her dad’s gun off her family’s living room mantelpiece and shot herself dead.
Angie said: ‘Me and her, we were best friends. We talked all the time, about everything. So for me and her to have conversations wasn’t a sign because that’s what we always did.’
Angie said: ‘If we would have known we probably would have been able to talk to her and we could have noticed that something was wrong.
Riley was second student there at her school to shoot themselves dead in a 16 month period. Seven other youngsters in her home county killed themselves in a two year period around the time of Riley’s death.