'Sextortion' by inmates targeted Greenville veteran just before his suicide, parents say
The Greenville News
Feb. 25, 2019
The person identified as Harris responded that his wife "is going to the police and you are going to jail."Army veteran Jared Johns was the target of a "sextortion" scam by prison inmates in the hours before he killed himself in Greenville on Sept. 11, 2018, according to his parents. They shared records with The Greenville News that appear to corroborate extortion attempts through text messages.
Within minutes of that exchange, according to Greenville County Senior Deputy Coroner Kent Dill, Johns died from a self-inflicted gunshot. Bowling said data from her son's Apple Watch shows that his heart stopped beating at 12:03 p.m.
Kathy Bowling and Kevin Johns believe that inmates at Lee Correctional Institution tried to bilk their son out of $1,189 while posing as the parents of a 17-year-old girl who purportedly sent him illicit photos.
Jared Johns, 24, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan, and the condition left him unable to cope with the threats that he received in the moments leading to his suicide, his parents said.
"I feel like they're the ones who shot him," Kevin Johns said.
"My son should still be alive," Bowling said.
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