Mary and Darren say their 15-year-old son, Riley, died by suicide after sextortionists posing as a girl named “Megan” persuaded him to share an explicit image of himself online, then tried to blackmail him for thousands of dollars.

“The attackers immediately hounded him for $3,500,” says Darren. “He told them that [he] didn’t have it, and they just barraged him with numerous messages, so I think he just lost his mind.”

Mary says the sextortionist friended 14 children in Riley’s friend group on social media. “It appears innocent as soon as they lure a group,” she says.

On Tuesday’s conclusion of this two-part Dr. Phil, “Sextorted to Death,” Mary and Darren say the blackmailer’s conversation with Riley lasted only a few hours. They say they believe their son panicked and took his life, believing suicide was his only way out.

And later, Dr. Phil talks with Sergeant Sean Pierce, Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, who says that in his experience, both boys and girls are being blackmailed for sexual pictures and videos, but it is the boys who are most often extorted for money.

Check your local listing for airtimes.

Due to strong sexual content, viewer discretion is advised.

If you, your child, or someone you know is the victim of sextortion, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency. You can also report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1 (800) The Lost (843-5678) and online at

If you or someone you know are experiencing a mental health emergency, call or text the national suicide & crisis lifeline by dialing 9-8-8, or reach out to to chat.

WATCH: Why A Law Enforcement Officer Says Sextortion Is 'Not About Sex'

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