Today, the New York City Police Department has confirmed the death of Desmond Amofah, known to fans as Etika on YouTube. Amofah was reported missing on June 19 after he published a video saying goodbye to fans. Police found his belongings on the Manhattan Bridge two days ago, and yesterday found his body in the East River.
Amofah had gaming-focused YouTube and Twitch channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. His content primarily focused on Nintendo games, including let’s plays and reaction videos to events like the company’s regular E3 Nintendo Directs.
An NYPD representative tells Kotaku that yesterday afternoon, “police responded to a 9-11 call with a person floating in the water in the vicinity of the South Street Seaport in the confines of the 1st Precinct. Upon arrival, officers discovered an unresponsive, unidentified male at that location. The NYPD harbor removed the male to Pier 16, where EMS pronounced him deceased. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing.”
Amofah’s struggle with mental health became public last October when, as Kotaku describes it, “he self-destructed his YouTube channel and, on Reddit, made references to suicidal ideation.” He was arrested in April after a suicide threat, and in May got into a physical altercation with either a police officer or security guard. Both incidents led to Amofah being hospitalised.
You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in the US at 1-800-273-8255, or Samaritans in the UK at 116 123. Both lines are operated 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and many more suicide prevention hotlines are available around the world.