Desmond Afoah, a popular YouTube personality known as Etika who created Nintendo-centric videos, was found dead, the New York Police Department said today. The NYPD had been searching for Afoah since he went missing last week, after posting a video discussing suicidal thoughts.
The NYPD first confirmed Afoah’s disappearance as a missing person’s case on June 20th, approximately 36 hours after Afoah uploaded an eight-minute video to his secondary YouTube channel, TR1Iceman, voicing suicidal thoughts. The video was later removed by YouTube for violating the company’s community guidelines. It has since been reuploaded by other people. Police later discovered Afoah’s belongings on the side of the Manhattan Bridge Saturday night, as reported by the New York Post.
Afoah, who amassed a massive following through his Nintendo-centric streams and videos on YouTube, has struggled publicly with mental health issues for a long period of time, but his behavior over the last 10 months concerned his fans and the overall YouTube community. Afoah uploaded pornography to his YouTube channel in October 2018, a clear violation of YouTube’s guidelines, commenting it was “time to die” upon his channel being deactivated.
A few months later in April, Afoah live streamed a standoff with New York police, seemingly prompted by several erratic tweets, including one that included a picture of himself posing with a gun. New York police told Kotaku at the time that Afoah was “threatening suicide in the apartment” and had a history of mental health issues. He was later taken to a Brooklyn hospital. Then in May, Afoah assaulted a police officer and was admitted to a local hospital, according to fellow streamer and ex-girlfriend, Alice Pika.
Members of the YouTube and Twitch community tried to reach out to Afoah privately and publicly in the days since Afoah has gone missing. Daniel “Keemstar” Keem tweeted at Afoah asking the YouTube creator to seek help.
“Listen man if you can see this right now please let the internet know you are alive,” Keem tweeted. “Yes some people will be mad but trust me way more people will be happy to know you are alive and safe somewhere.”
Over the last few days, Twitter became full of testimonials from fans talking about how Afoah’s channel helped them throughout the years, and how important he was to the YouTube community. Pika shared videos of Afoah, and fans on Reddit posted their own favorite memories of the streamer.
Other members of the community are asking YouTube to reinstate Afoah’s final video, suggesting the company allow the video to remain up alongside numbers for suicide helplines. It’s unclear what will happen to Afoah’s secondary channel.