Friends, family mourn Ind. teen who died playing 'choking game'


by WHAS11

Posted on August 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 10 at 7:01 PM

SALEM, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A 14-year-old Salem teen is dead after playing a choking game.

14-year-old Isaiah Shell would have started his first day as an eighth grader at Salem Middle this week. Instead, family and friends are mourning his death. 

Rita Lincks owns a downtown shop, and is friends with Isaiah's family.

"I have known the family for  very long time and it is very sad what has happened," said family friend Rita Lincks.

"He was a good kid," said Lincks.  "Anytime he was in here with his parents he was always very friendly and very polite. I just think he got in bad situation and couldn't get out. It was just very very sad."

The coroner's office said Isaiah was found by a family member in his basement last Friday. He died of positional asphyxiation as a result of a choking game and his death was ruled accidental.

School officials have counselors at the school to talk to kids about the dangers.

Lincks was shocked to learn about this game and even designed t-shirts to educate and use the proceeds to help the family.

"I hope this brings awareness to the community and we have had great community support with all the kids coming in to order shirts show how much they cared about him, " says Lincks

The choking game is common among middle school age children, where the object is to apply pressure to restrict oxygen to get a high. If the victim is alone, which was the case with Shell, the result is often deadly.

"For somebody that young in our community to do something like that is just a horrible tragedy," says Lincks.