Lakeland teen arrested over cyberbullying hoax

Lakeland teen arrested over cyberbullying hoax

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LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -

A Lakeland girl who claimed someone was threatening her on Facebook admits it was all a hoax.

12 year old Brianna Earls was a friend of Rebecca Sedwick, the girl who killed herself after being tormented by cyber bullies.

Yesterday Brianna and her mother went to police when a Facebook page appeared saying 'Brianna is next'.

Polk sheriff's investigators asked her to come back to the sheriff's office last night. After questioning Brianna again, they explained to her mother that the page had been created from their home, and arrested Brianna.

Brianna soon admitted she created the threat after her family was asleep.  She explained she did it to make the other girls pay for what they had done to Rebecca Sedwick.

"Never in a million years would we have suspected that. We are disappointed and embarrassed and prepared to make Brianna face the consequences for lying to law enforcement," said Brianna's mother, Darlene Earls.

Earls said they thought they had done everything they could to monitor their daughter's activities on the internet. Last year they removed her Facebook password and took away her cellphone.  They've been watching her even more closely since her friend's suicide.

"We don't want this to take away the focus of the investigation of Rebecca's death," said Earls.

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