Father of high school athlete who died by suicide after sextortion scam shares heartbreaking details, warning to parents and teens - East Idaho News

Father of high school athlete who died by suicide after sextortion scam shares heartbreaking details, warning to parents and teens

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Watch Nate Eaton’s interview with John DeMay in the video player above. Photo: Jordan DeMay | Courtesy John DeMay

IDAHO FALLS — Jordan DeMay was ready to go on vacation with his family. He bought suntan lotion, packed his bags and was set to take off to Florida the following day for some time away.

It was March 24, 2022. The 17-year-old from Michigan went to his room for the night, and his parents went to bed. Within hours, the high school senior was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being sexually extorted by men in Nigeria.

“Someone came into his bedroom at 3 in the morning and murdered him through Instagram while we were all sleeping and had zero chance to stop it,” says John DeMay, Jordan’s dad.

DeMay spoke with EastIdahoNews.com in hopes of raising awareness of “sextortion” – defined by the FBI as a “serious crime” when someone threatens to distribute private and sensitive material of a person if they don’t provide sexual images, favors or money in return.

Three Nigerian men were arrested in June for allegedly hacking Instagram accounts and sexually extorting Jordan and more than 100 young men online. DeMay says three more Nigerians were also involved in his son’s case. The suspects are in jail in Nigeria facing extradition to the United States for prosecution, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Michigan.

The extortion

Jordan was six weeks away from his 18th birthday and looked forward to graduating. He played high school sports, had a girlfriend and everyone in his town of 20,000 people seemed to know the popular teenager.

Jordan DeMay
Jordan DeMay was a popular high school athlete. | Courtesy John DeMay

“Jordan was an amazing young man. He was always happy, and his smile lit up a room,” DeMay says. “He affected so many people in a positive way and was such a larger-than-life person. He loved the outdoors, liked to fish and loved to hunt and boat, and all that fun stuff.”

The sextortion began with a single message around 10 p.m. It appeared to be from a young lady with the username “dani.robertts” and was a simple “hello.” Jordan responded, and for a couple of hours, the two messaged back and forth.

Shortly after midnight, the scammers convinced Jordan to send an explicit photo of himself. He did, and then “the script flipped immediately,” according to DeMay.

Samuel Ogoshi, 22, allegedly sent a message to Jordan saying, “I can send this nudes to everyone and also send your nudes Until it goes viral…Just pay me rn (right now) and I won’t expose you,” according to the indictment.

“The pressure was on him very fast, and they never let him up for air,” DeMay explains. “They wanted money. He asked how much, and they said $1,000. He couldn’t pay that, so they negotiated. He ended up paying $300 in several small amounts.”

After hours of negotiating, Jordan told Ogoshi he was going to kill himself:

dani.robertts: Goodbye

dani.robertts: Enjoy your miserable life

Jordan: I’m kms rn [I’m kill myself right now]

Jordan: Bc of you [Because of you]

dani.robertts: Good

dani.robertts: Do that fast

dani.robertts: Or I’ll make you do it

dani.robertts: I swear to God

dani.robertts: I will make you regret you life

dani.robertts: I will make u commit suicide

dani.robertts: I promise you I swear

“In that moment, in my son’s last moment in time, his life as he knew it may have been over. That’s what he’s thinking – my life is over and I’m never going to recover from this,” DeMay says.

The aftermath

Jordan died on March 25, 2022. Two days later, his parents learned about the extortion.

“The extortionist had sent Jordan’s picture to his girlfriend. When she discovered the photo, she called and let us know. Then we got the photo and realized something else was going on,” DeMay says. “Those first two days were shocking, and we were just banging our head against the wall trying to figure out what in God’s creation could have happened.”

Jordan DeMay
Jordan DeMay poses with his parents. | Courtesy John DeMay

DeMay says something “clicked” when they got the picture and he contacted law enforcement. The FBI was brought in, and investigators retrieved the deleted transcript of messages between Jordan and the extortionists.

“Before Jordan died, he deleted everything, so at face value, when you look at a phone or you look at his social media accounts afterward, it didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary,” DeMay explains.

It’s extremely hard to find scammers in foreign countries and arrest them for online crimes but agents from FBI Michigan traveled to Nigeria last year where local law enforcement officers tracked down and arrested the suspects. Ogoshi was charged with Jordan’s death.

Investigators say Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, was a “good partner” in helping in the case.

“We want teens to have safe, positive experiences online, and we work to help prevent and stop criminals from targeting them with sextortion schemes,” Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Meta, said in a statement. “This includes cooperating with law enforcement to help protect vulnerable teens from these horrific crimes and bring their perpetrators to justice. In addition to the work we do to protect teens from sextortion, we also helped found NCMEC’s TakeItDown, which allows teens to stop the spread of their intimate images online.”

What parents need to know

The FBI has seen a “huge” increase in the number of cases involving children and teens being threatened and coerced into sending sexually explicit images online.

Sextortion is happening everywhere and is becoming more common as social media platforms grow, according to Rexburg Police Lt. Ron Ball.

“There are people around the world that do nothing all day but sit in front of a computer and try to scam people,” Ball tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They come up with some very elaborate types of scams, and this happens to be one of them – sending nude pictures over the internet.”

Ball says scammers spend their time “searching for victims” and don’t care whether those people live in small towns, big cities or anywhere else.

“The only thing that matters to them is getting the money. They reach out to whoever is willing to talk with them and engage with them and then they trap you,” Ball says. “Once you send photos, you can never get them back. Whatever happens to them is out of your control and unfortunately, sometimes they do get posted. Once they’re posted and enter the world of the internet, you can’t get them back.”


DeMay and Ball both say it’s important for parents to talk with their kids about sextortion and set up rules, such as not allowing phones in bedrooms or bathrooms, turning off the internet at night and blocking strangers who try to engage in conversation on social media.

“If your children have access to the internet, they are potential victims, and it’s likely they’re going to be victimized. Maybe not to the extent that we were, but young ladies are being victimized on all sorts of different levels – body shaming, bullying – these types of things are happening,” DeMay says.

DeMay notes that safeguards were in place in his home, and he monitored Jordan’s social media in his teenage years but gradually stopped doing so as his son approached adulthood.

“This is happening to grown adults as well. The biggest thing is if you find yourself in this situation, shut your computer off and don’t delete anything,” DeMay says. “Call the FBI, call the local police department, call a family, call friends, call somebody. … The next day is going to be tough. The next week is going to be tough. It’s going to be embarrassing, but we’re all going to move on.

Meta offers the following safety tips if you are a teen or the parent of a teen who finds themself in a similar situation:

  • Stop engaging with the person harassing you
  • Block their account to limit further interactions
  • Report them within the app immediately
  • Tell a trusted friend or parent what’s happening
  • Go to TakeItDown.NCMEC.org to prevent your intimate images from being spread online
  • Talk to law enforcement if you feel you’ve been taken advantage of.

Remembering Jordan

Since DeMay began sharing Jordan’s story last year, he has heard from victims of sextortion from all over the world. Some have gone to the police, others have not. They simply want to share their experience with someone who understands.

“There’s the embarrassment factor, and they don’t want to say anything. This crime is kept under the covers because of the sensitivity and the fact that the perpetrators are targeting kids,” DeMay explains. “They go after the athletes, the top of the class, the popular, those who have lots of friends on their social media – they hone in on that and drill through until they break them down.”

Jordan DeMay
Jordan DeMay | Courtesy John DeMay

DeMay has felt every emotion, including extreme anger, for the men accused of extorting his son. He says there isn’t “punishment in the world that’s going to make me feel better for what these clowns did” but hopes speaking up will prevent tragedies in other families.

“Jordan was just a super awesome kid and it’s a super tragedy that we’re even discussing this. My mission at this point is to make sure that his legacy moves on and saves hopefully thousands of lives,” DeMay says.

Watch our entire interview with DeMay in the video player above.