A suicidal-sounding status update in Danny Manes’ Facebook newsfeed caught the Colorado teen’s eye. Manes, 17, only knew the 19-year-old teenager through church events, but decided he needed to reach out.
“He was talking to Jesus and telling him thank you for the life he was given, but it was time,” Manes told ABCNews.com.
Manes messaged the teen, but thought it might mean more if a stranger also reached out. He enlisted Gary Ramirez, 19, who he knew through Facebook. The two had joined forces a week earlier to start an anonymous advice Tumblr for teens struggling with bullying, sexuality and family issues.
“I didn’t know the severity of it and I looked up his profile. He was posting goodbyes and ‘I’m sorry’ on his friends’ walls,” Ramirez told ABCNews.com. “I added him and messaged him and said this may sound like bullshit, but I really hope you reconsider your decision.”
Ramirez said the teen was distraught over losing a couple of family members in the past few weeks.
The duo tried to talk the teen through his situation for six hours and urged him to get help.
But when he said it was his “last minute on Earth,” Ramirez knew he had to get get police involved.
He called 911 and gave the dispatcher the teen’s cell phone number, which was posted on his profile.
“If I didn’t know this kid was safe, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep,” Ramirez said. “We tried to keep him calm until the police could find him.”
After the messages ceased, the two feared for the worst.
They contacted police again who told them the teen was safe and undergoing a mental health evaluation.
Later that day, the two good samaritans received a text from the teen, thanking them for their help.
“We knew we would be able to help someone,” Ramirez said. “But not this fast. We hope we can reach more kids.”