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'Dead' Teen Shows Up for School & Freaks Out the Whole School

by Ericka Sóuter on November 9, 2012 at 9:35 AM

school busStudents and teachers at an Indiana middle school had quite a fright when a boy who they had been told died walked through the door.

Days earlier, friends of 14-year-old Michael Sinkfield received text messages from the boy's phone saying that he had been killed in a car crash. The texts claimed to be from his father. Word spread fast through the tiny town and the community was devastated by the news. So needless to say, when he boarded the school bus Monday, everyone was totally freaked out. The reason for his miraculous resurrection?

Turns out it was all a cruel hoax. Though no one knew it. People were posting messages to his Facebook page and on Twitter. "R.I.P. Michael Sinkfield... 1998-2012. He was one of the nicest people I ever knew. He is going to be in my prayers," wrote one student. Said another, "R.I.P. Michael Sinkfield. My brother and him were good friends and its so sad to see him so upset. Michael and his family will be in my prayers."

Teachers had even planned a meeting Monday morning to discuss how to address the death with students and help them through the tragedy. No one knew that Sinkfield's phone had been stolen and someone sent out the fake obit to his pals. "When I got on the bus in the morning, people were looking at me happy, but other people were crying," the teenager told reporters. "I asked them what was going on, and they told me what happened." His parents were also alerted to the ruse when they started receiving condolence calls that day. They have no idea who is behind it, but of course everyone is glad it's not true.

Can you imagine being told a friend, neighbor, or student suddenly died and then find out they are alive? It must feel like winning the lottery. Though this isn't the only "back from the dead" surprise in recent weeks. A man walked into his own funeral and, needless to say, scared his whole family. They thought they had seen a ghost, but there had been a mix-up when the body was identified. I am sure in both cases, everyone feels like this is one fright they are truly grateful for. Sinkfield's case is entirely different, of course. It boils down to a childish, mean, and completely asinine prank that traumatized an entire community. If they ever find out who did it, I hope they get punished somehow. 

Do you think death hoaxes should be against the law?


Image via bsabarnowl/Flickr

Filed Under: death, technology


  • Chris...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Christina Mancuso-Henry

    November 9, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I think whoever is responsible for this should be punished legally. What if the message had been sent to an elderly grandparent or something? The shock of a child's death could cause someone physical or mental harm! SMFH to whoever did this cruel "joke"!

  • MrsCh...


    November 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Legal punishment is warranted in this situation. How horrible.

  • CPN322


    November 9, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Yes I do.

  • Em_Sh...


    November 9, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    This is a horrible prank. I lost my best friend in an accident a few weeks ago and only wish that it had all been a mix up. 

  • Venae


    November 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    It's called freedom of speech; but could he sue the thief for slander?

  • Roche...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Rochelle Allgire

    November 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I've been through a lot of loss in my life. Both my dad's parents when I was 21, my mom when I was 22, my dad when I was 23, and my grandma, who raised me, 5 months ago. I would have given anything for each and every one of those to be a cruel joke. Whoever did this, you're sick. I hope you're caught and whatever they can nail you with, you deserve!

  • Andrew
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM
    This kind of activity is not protected under freedom of speech - and if they find the person they should definitely file charges.
  • Angel...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Angel Gonzalez Hume

    November 13, 2012 at 4:47 PM
    It is not protected under freedom of speech Just as going into a crowded area and yelling fire isn't... This cause mental angwish upon the town... should be criminal
  • Mark
    -- Nonmember comment from


    November 18, 2012 at 1:51 AM
    What is even funnier is that this kid was obviously a loser. If this happened to me I know my friends would go to my house to talk to my parents. And they would know the moment my cell phone got stolen
  • Erin...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Erin Sites Golden

    November 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Freedom of speech doesn't apply to a lie with malicious intent to cause harm to others!

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