South Milw. school officials warning of "Choking Game" following student death

SOUTH MILWAUKEE -- Parents in South Milwaukee are being warned about the "Choking Game" after a 12-year-old boy died over the weekend from apparent suffocation. The boy's father says he found the boy in his room with a bag over his head.

A Medical Examiner's report says 12-year-old Gage Witek had a plastic bag over his head when his father found him in his room Saturday, September 15th.

Following Witek's death, South Milwaukee Middle School's principal sent a letter home with students warning of choking games and other risky behaviors children may be experimenting with. These so-called "games" involve children choking one another until they reach a sensation of being "high."

A Medical Examiner's report indicates Witek may have taken the game a step further.

"The family seemed to understand my explanation of the autoerotic asphyxia and that I believed that Gage's death was accidental due to this," a Medical Examiner's official said.

The Medical Examiner's report alludes to other details regarding this manner of death FOX6 News is choosing not to share.

Cynthia Schulz's nephew is a student at South Milwaukee Middle School, and said she's concerned following Witek's death.

"I just think about my kids. I'm more talking to them about strangers, about drugs. That's not the first thing that comes to mind is self-injury," Schulz said.

For Schulz, the thought that someone so young would even consider experimenting in this way shows how adolescent even the most adult-looking kids can be.

"They might be tall, they might be getting close to our size, but truly, they're just little kids," Schulz said.

Officials say there are some warning signs that pop up when someone has been experimenting with the so-called "Choking Game." They include bloodshot eyes, frequent, severe headaches, bruising around the neck and disorientation or grogginess.