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9-year-old killed herself after mom told her not to watch videos on the phone

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 19, 2019
12:56 P.M.
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A young girl’s body was found lifeless in her Bronx River Houses home by her mother just before noon on Saturday. It appeared the child had hung herself with a belt.

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According to the mother, the little girl committed suicide after she denied her use of her phone to watch videos.

Heaven Vega, 9, hanged herself in her Bronx River Houses home on E 174th St. near Bronx River Ave. in Soundview. She committed suicide after her mother, Jennifer, refused her use of her cellphone.

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On Sunday, sources and neighbors said the child’s mother had told her that it was too early in the morning for her to use the cellphone. Jennifer later found Heaven dead in her bedroom at the family’s apartment.

The police said they found the little girl tied with a belt around her neck hanging from her bed. A neighbor who didn’t want to be named stated, “Nowadays, all kids have cellphones in their hands, and all they do is watch YouTube.”

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The neighbor added:

“Apparently the girl woke up, and she wanted to get the phone to go on YouTube. But the mother told her, no, it was too early in the morning.”

A neighbor who lives next-door, Zoraida Irizarry, 59, said the child’s grief-stricken mother is now blaming herself for the tragedy. She added, “I can’t imagine what the mother is going through right now. A friend of mine spoke to Jennifer, and Jennifer said that she thought that it was her fault.”

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Jennifer called 911 after finding her daughter in the room. One of the little girl’s brothers performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Irizarry also revealed, “I can hear into their apartment through my wall.” The neighbor explained further: “Yesterday morning, I heard the older daughter calling for her sister at a regular tone, and then all of a sudden her voice got really loud, and she started screaming.”

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Heaven was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital but could not be saved. Jennifer’s neighbors shared that the little girl was the youngest of four siblings.

They explained that all the children would sit in the hallway stuck to their phones. Speaking about Heaven, Irizarry stated, “I don’t get it. She always had a smile on her face. I only ever saw her happy.”

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She continued, “I would come home and she would be sitting in the hallway doing her homework, I guess because it was quieter out there.” The neighbor concluded, “I don’t know how her mother can function after this.”

A grieving Jennifer wasn’t available for comments. The police revealed that they didn’t suspect any criminality in the case.

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Last month, Corey Brown, 13, from central Iowa left home in the middle of a snowstorm during at night after getting into an argument with his parents. The argument culminated in him having his cellphone taken away.

Marshalltown Police Chief Michael Tupper later revealed that the boy’s body was found around in a secluded area on the west side of Marshalltown.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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