Leonid Hmelev, 14, jumped to his death from an apartment block after his favourite TV character died
A 14-year-old boy leapt more than 100ft to his death from the top of an apartment block in Chaikovsky, Russia, after seeing his favourite manga character killed in a cartoon.
Police say Leonid Hmelev died instantly.
The boy was reportedly devastated after seeing the death of the character Itachi Uchiha in the animated movie ‘Naruto – Hurricane Chronicle’.
He left home after posting a message on a social networking site saying he was also ‘planning an ending’.
His worried parents raised the alarm after he did not return home and a search was organised together with neighbours.
After being missing for two days his body was found yesterday and he was identified by his devastated father Ivan, 38.
He said: ‘I always told him he spent too much time watching the TV – he didn’t know what was reality and what was fiction anymore.’
Teenage suicide in Russia is endemic. It has the third-highest teenage suicide rate in the world, just behind its neighbours Belarus and Kazakhstan and more than three times that of the United States.
On an average day, about five Russians younger than 20 kill themselves.
Popular Naruto character Itachi Uchiha. The teen was distraught when the character died. His father says his son struggled to separate reality from fiction
Psychiatrists and health experts in Russia blame alcohol abuse, domestic violence, rigid rules and high expectations from parents.
Itachi Uchiha is a character in the popular Naruto comics and animated TV series. He is treated as an antagonist for much of the series, but was much-loved by Japanese TV and comic enthusiasts.
Chaikovsky is a town in Perm Krai, Russia. It is named after the composer Tchaikovsky, who was born in nearby Votkinsk.
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