Amanda Todd’s mother Carol thought the 15-year-old had finally rounded the corner.
After three years of relentless cyber bullying, the Vancouver, B.C., teenager had enrolled in a new school, found a group of supportive friends and appeared to have put her pain-filled past behind her.
“She was so proud of herself,” Carol told the Vancouver Sun. “She went out with friends, she went to the mall; she said to me, ‘Mom, this is the first time that I feel normal again. I have had the best day ever.'”
Carol’s optimism was shattered on Oct. 12 when her daughter’s body was discovered at their home after she apparently took her own life.
Amanda’s death came just weeks after she had posted a wrenching YouTube video detailing her struggle with suicidal feelings and depression after being ostracized at school and tormented on Facebook when a stalker began distributing topless pictures of her online.
The tenth-grade cheerleader doesn’t speak in the 9-minute video, but holds up a series of papers on which she has hand-printed her story.
“In 7th grade I would go with friends on webcam,” read the card. She quickly reveals that online strangers began telling her how beautiful and stunning she looked. “They wanted me to flash. So I did one year later,” another card detailed.
Not long after that, she received a Facebook message from a stranger who threatened to post her topless pictures unless she revealed more of herself. Police eventually showed up at her house, informing her that the photographs were being distributed on the Internet.
“I then got really sick anxiety major depression and panic disorder. I then moved and got into alcohol and drugs,” she wrote on another card.
Despite switching schools multiple times, Amanda was shunned by other students and even beaten. Her cyber stalker followed her even when she changed schools and tried to turn other students against her.
Amanda once attempted suicide by drinking bleach, began cutting herself and was rushed to the hospital on several occasions after overdosing.
Her last card read: “I have nobody. I need someone. My name is Amanda Todd.”
The Last Straw
Amanda’s mother says she doesn’t know what finally pushed her daughter, who underwent treatment and counseling at a hospital in September, over the edge. But the answer may be contained in a video message she left on her phone shortly before her death.
“The coroner has told me it will provide closure for me, but I can’t look at it yet,” says Carol, a teacher at a local school district.
Police are currently following up on claims that the hacker group Anonymous has uncovered the identity of Todd’s alleged stalker and are also trying to pinpoint what may have caused the teenager to finally take her own life.
“We are looking at tracking down the individual who had contact with her [shortly before her death] and may have played a role in her making that tragic decision,” Sgt. Peter Thiessen, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, tells PEOPLE.