Girl kills herself in live online video and police cannot stop footage being viewed by millions
Local police say they have no legal means to force sites to take the video of Katelyn Nicole Davies' death down
Katelyn Nicole Davis killed herself after allegedly being abused by a family member
A video of a 12-year-old girl's suicide which she recorded live on her mobile phone has been viewed by millions of people online, prompting calls for action to remove the footage.
As viewers watched her live online, Katelyn Nicole Davis filmed herself as she claimed that she had been a victim of sexual abuse by a family member. Then she took her own life.
The youngster used a livestreaming app which allowed her to broadcast herself using her mobile phone.
But following her death, the video of her suicide went viral after it was copied from the feed on Live.me, a social media app similar to Facebook Live, and duplicated.
The full 42-minute video of the girl preparing for and carrying out her suicide was available on YouTube and Facebook for several days but were removed when both companies were contacted by The Independent.
The YouTube video had received nearly 40,000 views before it was taken down.
But other sites continue to show it and Some will profit from advertising each time it is viewed.
Officers from Polk County Police were only tipped off to Katelyn's suicide by another force thousands of miles away in California.
After arriving at her home in Cedartown, Georgia they rushed her to hospital but she was pronounced dead on arrival.
After receiving hundreds of complaints from members of the public, some as far away as the UK, Polk County Police have urged people to take the video down or refrain from viewing it.
There have been numerous videos and posts on various internet websites that are referencing this case," they said on Facebook. "We are making a specific request that anyone who has any knowledge, videos, or comments regarding this case, please keep this information off of the internet.
"Out of respect for the family of the departed and for the deceased themselves, we respectfully request that the citizenry of Polk County and whoever might view or receive this message please help us out with this request."
But the force has no legal powers to get taken the video taken down, although some websites have agreed to their requests to remove it.
“We want it down as much as anyone for the family and it may be harmful to other kids," Police Chief Kenny Dodd told Fox 5 News.
“We contacted some of the sites. They asked if they had to take it down, and by law they don’t.