US suicide teenager may have asked for help over webcam spying

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The American student who killed himself after a roommate allegedly recorded him having gay sex may have asked for help, reports suggest.

A strikingly similar plea for advice was posted on a gay community website.

Tyler Clementi, 18, a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is thought to have jumped from the George Washington Bridge earlier this month.

His roommate Dharun Ravi of Plainsboro, New Jersey, and Molly W Wei of Princeton have been charged with invasion of privacy after they allegedly streamed the footage on the internet.

Now, the US gossip website Gawker suggests that posts on a gay community message board are strikingly similar to Clementi’s position.

According to the website, a user called ‘cit2mo’ started a thread on called “college roommate spying…..”

The user claims that he asked his roommate to be out of the room one evening in September so he could spend time with a man but discovered that his roommate turned on a webcam remotely and would have been able to see the pair “making out”.

‘Cit2mo’ posted again several days later, saying another attempt had been made to film him and that he had filed a complaint to his dorm advisor and two more senior officials, asking for a room change.

The poster’s messages showed no intent to commit suicide. The last one was posted 15 hours before Clementi is thought to have jumped into the Hudson River.

There is no evidence that the poster was Clementi, as university officials have released little information about the incidents. However, the time frame matches Clementi’s story and while his profile details do not match exactly, they are similar.

A body was recovered from the Hudson River yesterday and police are working to establish whether it is Clementi’s.

It had no identification but Clementi’s driving licence and student ID were found on the bridge. Two witnesses said they saw a man leap into the water.

The 18-year-old student, from Ridgewood in Bergen County, was described as a gifted violinist who played in the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra.

Paul Mainardi, his family’s lawyer, said in a statement: “Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words. They respectfully request that they be given time to grieve their great loss and that their privacy at this painful time be respected by all.”