London teen dies by suicide after being blackmailed with his nude photos

London teen dies by suicide after being blackmailed with his nude photos
via Facebook / Kaushallya De Alwis
Bryan Ke
February 27, 2024
A 16-year-old boy who immigrated with his family to London from Sri Lanka has reportedly died by suicide after being blackmailed by an unknown person using his nude pictures in October 2022.
Sextortion: The police shared the details of the case during an inquest into Dinal De Alwis’ death on Feb. 16, which a coroner’s court concluded was a suicide.
Authorities said the boy received an iMessage from an unknown man threatening him that he would send his alleged nude pictures to “all of his followers” if he did not give him 100 pounds sterling ($126) hours before his death, authorities learned from their investigation.
The teen, who lived with his family in Wallington, a town in Sutton, South London, thought at the time that the blackmailer had already spread his sensitive pictures, according to the Daily Mail.
What happened next: De Alwis reportedly snuck out of his family’s detached home at around 2 a.m. on Oct. 27, 2022, and later sent his goodbye messages to his father, mother and siblings. A CCTV caught the moment when the teen jumped to his death. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:07 a.m.
A funeral for the teen was held on Nov. 16, 2022, according to the teen’s father, Kaushallya De Alwis.
Family reaction: Hearing the conclusion at the inquest, Kaushallya De Alwis said what authorities found was a “massive surprise” for them, as the boy “didn’t show any sort of unhappiness at all.” He added, “I think he wanted to avoid any shame from the images going public.”
Speaking to the Daily Mail, De Alwis’ father recalled how he was worried about his son spending time on social media, adding that “young people underestimate the dangers around them.”
“There must be ways of tracking these things and parents should have access,” he continued. “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
About the suspect: Authorities admitted they could not track the suspect, who they purportedly believe lives outside the United Kingdom, possibly Nigeria, and uses a virtual private network (VPN) to hide his location.
The teen’s father thought that a girl may have taken De Alwis’ picture and that the photo somehow ended up in the wrong hands. He said he had warned his son to be careful and was also aware that blackmailers sometimes pose as women online to ask for nude selfies from their targets to be later used as blackmail material.
A “golden boy”: De Alwis’ family described the teen, who studied+ at Whitgift School in Croydon, as a “golden boy” who aspired to study economics at the University of Cambridge.
A football and rugby player at his school, his father noted that De Alwis received “straight A’s” in all his General Certificate of Secondary Education subjects and that he was “top of the school for English and economics.”
 
If you or anyone you know is at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.
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