Leading off today:
Police are investigating whether cyber-bullying contributed to the suicide of a Long Island teen soccer standout Sunday, several media outlets are reporting.
West Islip midfielder Alexis Pilkington, 17, apparently took her own life following taunts on social networking sites, The New York Daily News reported. The paper said the abusive comments continued -- particularly on formspring.me -- after her death, worsening the grief for her family.
"Investigators are monitoring the postings and will take action if any communication is determined to be of a criminal nature," Suffolk County Deputy Chief of Detectives Frank Stallone said.
Pilkington's parents downplayed the role the online activity may have played, saying Alexis was in counseling. "I believe in my heart that cyber-bullying wasn't the cause of Lexi's death," said her mother, Paula Pilkington.
The teen's friends have unified in support, leading a wave of a staggering 16,000 people who have registered for a memorial page on Facebook this week. They've also launched a boycott effort against formspring.me, which later issued a statement expressing condolences to the family according to LongIslandPress.com.
"Like those closest to Alexis, we believe there are other underlying issues at work when someone decides to take their own life," the statement said. "We will work with authorities through proper legal channels to help prosecute any criminal acts involving the misuse of our system."
Facebook has cooperated in removing some offensive messages and images, The Associated Press reported.
New York is not among the more than 15 states that have laws making cyber-bullying a harassment crime or making it easier to investigate or prosecute, the National Conference of State Legislatures said.