Children texting
Children texting. Picture for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: GN Archives

An 11-year-old boy allegedly died by suicide after jumping from a ten-storey building while playing a new online ‘suicide game’ similar to the Blue Whale Challenge in Naples, Italy on September 30.

Police have ceased the boy’s devices to see whether he was duped into taking part in a suicide game, which targets children.

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Local media outlets reported that his body was found in a courtyard at the base of a residential apartment block, on Wednesday morning.

His final message to his parents, who were described as "well-known and respected" Neapolitan professionals by the Italian media, referenced a “man in the hood", according to a news report.

Deadly ‘Jonathan Galindo’ game

Media reports suggested that the boy, who was “healthy and sporty” may have died after participating in a game called 'Jonathan Galindo'.

Italian local newspaper Corriere del Mezzogiorno explains that the game is based on a sinister looking man with a black hood showing "the benevolent appearance of Goofy from Disney, who requires friendship on every possible social media channel - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter".

The game is aimed at luring in children, and engaging them into a series of challenges. The challenges include ‘tests of courage’ like self-harming and even suicide.

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Reportedly, victims are often threatened with having their personal data leaked, if they do not participate.

His parents were quoted as saying that the boy was a happy, serene child and there were "no apparent problems, except a restlessness, perhaps because of the deadly challenge he had undertaken,” according to local media reports.

The Prosecutor's Office for minors is investigating, after police took the child's cell phone and console, to see who he had been in contact with before dying.

The deadly game has evolved from the Blue Whale Challenge that emerged online in 2016, which has been linked to over 100 deaths in Russia.