YouTuber Desmond Amofah, who went by the name Etika online, has been found dead in New York less than a week after he was reported missing, police said Tuesday.
Authorities discovered Amofah’s body in the East River on Monday after responding to a 911 call, a New York police spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. He was reported missing after he was last heard on the phone June 19.
On Wednesday the city's medical examiner said Etika's cause of death was drowning by suicide.
Concerns about Amofah’s well-being arose after he uploaded a nearly eight-minute video on YouTube last week in which he talked about his mental health, apologized for pushing people away, and discussed the dangers of social media.
“I really had no intention of killing myself,” Amofah said in the now-deleted video that has been reposted by others on YouTube. “But I’d always push it too far. I guess I am mentally ill.”
In the video, he appears to be walking on the streets of New York City. Amofah — who vlogged about video games to over 130,000 YouTube subscribers — also says, “I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube a better place somehow in the future.”
YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amofah’s friends and fellow gamers expressed concerns about his safety on social media after he was reported missing.
Christine Alice, a vlogger who appears to be Amofah’s ex-girlfriend, tweeted early Tuesday, “I refuse to give up hope.”
She also posted a video of Amofah playing with her cat, saying it was a month “after we broke up.”
After police confirmed his death, Alice tweeted: "I want his funeral to be as big as his personality, his heart, and his spirit. I loved him. He is finally at peace."
She did not respond to a request for comment.
A photographer and gamer who took some of Amofah’s photos said in an Instagram post, “Im Trying to be positive. If anyone knows anything please say something. I miss my boy @etika.”
In his video before he went missing, Amofah repeatedly apologized for “betraying” people.
“I’m sorry to those of you who I betrayed,” he said. “I’m sorry for leaving such a stained legacy. I hope that my story maybe helps to make YouTube be a better place somehow in the future, to where people know boundaries and limits and how far things should go.”
Amofah also said that he was too “deluded” to know that he needed help for his “mental illness,” and warned people about excessive social media use.
“Let my story be one that advises caution on too much of this social media shit, man. It can fuck you up. It can give you an image of what you want your life to be and it can get blown completely out of proportion, dog,” he said. “Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
Earlier this year, Amofah had expressed suicidal thoughts to his 300,000 followers on Twitter, prompting concerns from fans and fellow vloggers.
On April 29, the NYPD also responded to a 911 call for an emotionally disturbed person at Amofah’s Brooklyn house while he was live on Instagram. In the livestream, Amofah refused to open his door to police officers who told him people were concerned about his safety.
Officers eventually restrained him on a stretcher and transported him to an ambulance, according to eyewitness videos posted online. He was taken to the NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital for evaluation, the New York Post reported.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.