The glaring lights of internet fame and the joyful community of online fans were the defining features of the last few years of the life of Desmond Amofah. Amofah, known online as “Etika,” was a Twitch streamer who had a dedicated online following and an outsized personality.
Etika was an excitable man, often bursting into fits of laughter and joyful shouts when he was performing well in games he streamed. He was a diehard fan of the Super Smash Bros fighting series and played the most recent entry in the franchise extensively.
On June 19, after posting several bizarre videos and demonstrating signs of possible mental distress, Etika vanished. Fans were stunned by his sudden disappearance, and the unusual contents of the final video uploaded by the internet celebrity.
Content warning: the following article contains mention of suicide.
Before becoming the streamer Etika, Desmond Amofah was an aspiring rapper and model. Those careers never quite took off, however, leading him to pursue a career as a Twitch streamer and YouTuber. His internet career was much more successful, and as “Etika” he quickly amassed a dedicated following of fans.
In the months leading up to his disappearance, Amofah began exhibiting some troubling behavior. On occasion, he threatened to take his own life. Sometimes this was framed as a joke, while other times fans worried that something could be seriously wrong. However, the overall joking tone of Etika’s other content made legitimate questions about his mental health look like overreactions to some members of the community.
A series of bizarre posts and troubling comments about taking his own life led to Etika’s arrest and hospitalization in April of 2019. His last few appearances in YouTube videos and on social media were described as bizarre and unsettling, with the streamer appearing in interviews stating that he was “the Antichrist,” leading to many fans worrying that his mental health was deteriorating.
On June 20, 2019, a video titled “I’m Sorry” was uploaded to a channel belonging to Amofah. The video is a long monologue in which Amofah apologizes to his fans for his behavior and confirms his intention to take his own life. The video’s description was believed by fans to be Amofah’s suicide note.
Amofah was last seen on June 19, 2019. His belongings were found that afternoon in a backpack left on the side of the road on the Manhattan bridge. Amofah’s body was discovered six days later near Pier 16 in Manhattan. Authorities believe he deliberately jumped from the Manhattan Bridge.
The incident led to a renewed online discussion regarding mental health and recognizing the signs of depression and mental illness. Following Amofah’s passing, his personal website was converted into a portal for donating to the National Alliance on Mental Illness charitable organization.