'Sickened, Devastated': Parents on MySpace Suicide

It's a picture-perfect all-American neighborhood, but on Waterford Crystal Drive, just outside St. Louis, a suburban enclave is in turmoil and shock after the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier.

It all began a year ago when Megan met a boy on the Internet.

Megan was insecure and slightly overweight and was thrilled to have a page on the social networking site MySpace, and to be contacted by "Josh Evans." Tina Meier, Megan's mom, described Josh as having blue eyes and brown, wavy hair and looking like a model. She asked Megan whether she knew him. In fact, Megan did not know Josh, who told her he was 16 and had just moved to town.

Ron Meier, Megan's father, was slightly concerned. "Everybody that was on there we had to know, and this individual we did not know," he said.


"The content that was on there was approved by us so there could not be any inappropriate content on there at all," said Tina Meier.

The Meiers, fearful of the dangers to teens online, worried more about Megan. She had a history of depression and was prescribed medication. "Megan just always felt like she wasn't wanted or accepted enough. And that was the hardest thing to try to get her to just be herself," said Tina.

Recently, things seemed to be turning around for Megan. She had lost weight, switched to a smaller, private school and had made new friends. There had been a rift with another 13-year-old down the street, a close friend, who felt Megan had deserted her, but Megan was happier than ever and excited about her new online relationship, her parents said.

"Josh did the showing of attention as far as commenting on her pictures, telling her she had beautiful eyes, what a great smile she had," said Tina. "And for Megan that was certainly uplifting."

'I Don't Want to Be Friends With You Anymore'

Then, last October, just as Megan was planning a 14th birthday bash, Josh suddenly turned on her.

"I signed her on and the first message was something like, 'You heard me, I said I don't want to be friends with you anymore because you're not nice to your friends.' Megan said something like 'Yes I am,' and this went back and forth," said Tina.

And worse, more taunts began to be posted on the site, insulting Megan.

"This girl jumped in calling Megan all kinds of names, telling Megan she was a fat ass, Josh started calling Megan, telling her she was a whore," said Tina.

Then, said Ron Meier, came the cruelest message of all, saying "the world would be a better off place without you."

Megan was distraught. Tina, angry about the nasty online exchanges, insisted that Megan log off the computer.

"Megan got upset with me and yelled -- not yelled, but was crying and said 'You're supposed to be my Mom and you're supposed to be on my side,' and then took off running upstairs," said Tina.

Twenty minutes later, Tina went to check on her daughter and made a horrible discovery. "I went upstairs and opened the door and saw her hanging in the closet," she said. "And I screamed and ran over and tried picking her up."

Tina said all she was thinking was, "Please God don't make this real."

Ron came into the room and grabbed Megan and pulled her down. Desperate, Tina quickly dialed 911 and ordered her younger daughter to go get Blaine Buckles, a teenage neighbor who was trained in CPR.

"Ron was giving her CPR and then I stepped in and helped and then took over," said Blaine. "It all really hit me in the seconds when the ambulance came and I knew my job was done -- I just walked in the hallway and collapsed. My whole body went numb."

The next day, 13-year-old Megan Meier was pronounced dead.

'Rage, Anger, Disgust'

The Meiers wanted to find Josh, but his MySpace account had vanished. Ron and Tina said their neighbors played a big role in helping them deal with this tragedy. The Meiers themselves also sought to console their friends, including the daughter of Lori and Curt Drew, who lived four doors down. It was the Drews' daughter who Megan had a falling out with earlier in the year.

"We even went to their house to let her know, even though they weren't great friends toward the end, that Megan did value and care about their friendship," said Tina.

And just weeks later, amid their grief, the Meiers even managed to attend the young girl's birthday party. Yet what the heartbroken Meiers never knew is that the family they were embracing had played a role in their daughter's death.

Just six weeks after Megan's funeral, they got a call from a neighbor that would shatter their lives. She revealed that there was no Josh Evans -- that it was all an awful hoax created in the home of Lori and Curt Drew.

"I was so absolutely sickened and devastated by the fact that my daughter took her own life thinking that this boy who she thought liked her and then turned on her, was actually this neighbor down the street," said Tina.

And neighbors like Trever and Chris Buckles were just as incensed.

"Rage, anger, disgust," is how Trever described his reaction.

"It's just disgusting to sink to that level to target a 13-year-old child knowing they're vulnerable. Just disgusting," said Chris.

Federal authorities were now investigating and neighbors were turning on the Drews, with reports of vandalism at their home. The Meiers soon received a letter from the Drews saying they were "sorry for the extreme pain you are going through" and requesting to talk with the Meiers.

No Charges, a World Forever Changed

The Meiers refused to speak with the Drews, but they did speak with the FBI. And as their story leaked out, there was Internet anger over the unspeakable tragedy. Blogs listed personal information about the Drews, along with hateful comments and calls for justice.

St. Charles prosecuting attorney Jack Banas began looking at the case and just this week decided he had no grounds to charge the Drews with a crime.

"It's not whether I see it as a crime, it's what the state of Missouri sees as a crime and it's what evidence you can show," said Banas.

"It troubles me that you have the loss of a young girl, that troubles me over something that could have been prevented by an adult," said Banas.

"It's hard to grasp there's nothing they could be charged with," said Trever Buckles. "I think they should have been charged with murder. Megan was part of our world."

The Drew family has refused requests for interviews. They did send a statement to "20/20" which included the following, "Although she was aware of the account, Lori Drew never sent any messages to Megan or to anyone else using this MySpace account." The statement went on to add, "Lori Drew was not aware of any mean, nasty or negative comments made by anyone against Megan until after Megan took her own life."

Pain and loss now defines the Meiers' neighborhood and the Meier family has been ruined.

"The pain hasn't even come close to easing," said Tina.

Added Ron, "My life is nothing even remotely resembling what it was before. The daughter, the family, everything that was about us as a family is no longer here. It never will be."