Local News

Friends gather to remember teen who died playing 'choking game'

Posted November 23, 2008

A teenager, who died playing the "choking game," was remembered Sunday in Cary.

Kris Marceno's friends came together for a Pajama Party at Contrast Creative Studio, 2598 Highstone Road, to share their memories through song and photos.

Marceno, a sophomore at Enloe High School, died Nov. 2 playing the "choking game" in which someone asphyxiates himself or herself or chokes a friend to the point of passing out. The oxygen-deprivation is believed to produce a euphoric high.

“I just want everyone to be aware that this is really dangerous and no one else should have to die because of this. And Kris would be proud of his parents for speaking out against this,” said Sarah Huck, Marceno’s friend.

Marceno, 15, had tied an electrical cord around his neck, with the other end tied to a bunk bed, his mother said.

The Marcenos said they never suspected their son of trying to play such a dangerous game, but they said his friends have since told them they even try to choke each other at school.

The Marcenos are speaking publicly about their son's death in hopes of warning other parents about the dangerous game.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 82 youths nationwide have died since 1995 while playing the choking game. Most of the victims were teenage boys.


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  • George Costanza Nov 24, 2008

    Banker Momy. I apologize. I thought you said that you went to parties and did this and that it was "no big deal".

  • Doctor Dataclerk Nov 24, 2008

    I can't believe what children do for entertainment. I believe this comes from a generation of video game kids who grow up thinking that after everyone is blown up, shot to pieces, raped, beaten, and almost eaten, that you just start the game over and everyone will be fine. So sad.

  • Banker Mommy Nov 24, 2008

    anneonymousone, I totally agree. I am so glad the parents brought this issue forward. Teenagers don't always listen to their parents, but hearing about an actual person who died doing this could make a real difference. Let's hope so.

  • itsnotmeiswear Nov 24, 2008

    I graduated from hogh school in '81, and among my friends, if someone had suggested choking someone until they passed out as a means of entertainment, we would have looked at them like they had lost their minds. I asked my daughter about it and she said she had heard of it, but she almost seemed annoyed that I would ask her and she said, "Daddy, I'm not that stupid."

  • iamyeary Nov 24, 2008

    This is sad and strange. How can it be called 'a game' when the only player is alone in his/her room? There must be something else going on in the minds of those who do this. It was brave of this young man's parents to come forward with their truth. It is most sad to lose a child and especially like this. I am sorry for their loss.

  • Banker Mommy Nov 24, 2008

    Deedeedee, the reason I put it in quotations is because this is the mentality of the teenagers. I think most adults, especially parents, realize it is.

  • George Costanza Nov 24, 2008

    Banker Mommy, ask this kids parents if it is " no big deal".

  • ptahandatum Nov 24, 2008

    Once again the gods and angels missed a perfect chance, and another child is gone. When will it ever stop?

  • anneonymousone Nov 24, 2008

    We played "games" like this (with lower-tech equipment) in the early 70s and were fortunate not to have anyone come to any harm. We had a young man from our high school die a few years ago from what may have been this cause, and staff and students still have not come to terms with it.

    I am thankful that this young man's family and friends are coming forward to make his cause of death more widely known.

  • NC Reader Nov 24, 2008

    "it seems many parents don't warn kids of anything because they don't want to make them fearful. While you cannot cover every stupid thing, you can work to develop logic/reasoning by pointing out dangers they don't consider."

    True, but maybe this was a danger that the parents didn't consider. Maybe they'd never heard of it before. I know several parents who hadn't, and although I had heard of something similar, I didn't know much at all. One of my children told me, "Oh, yes, students talk about it at school." I'm thankful that these grieving parents are making this public, to inform other parents, as well as children, of this danger.

    I haven't read anything about these parents not being responsible. This was just something they may have been totally unaware of. How can you warn your child of a danger (choking yourself for a "high")that you don't know exists? As soon as I heard about it, I had a talk with my children.