Teenage Girl Suicide Abused Ask.fm
Italian teenager Aurora Cerullo was found dead in in Venaria, near Turin Facebook

Italian police are investigating whether cyberbullying played a role in the apparent suicide of a teenage girl who leaped to her death from the sixth floor of a building near Turin.

Neighbours found the body of Aurora Cerullo, 14, in the courtyard of the house where she lived with her parents and sister in Venaria, a suburb of the industrial northern city.

"She felt ugly, she used to say she was never going to find a boyfriend," her sister told Il Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Aurora - Aury to her friends - had been targeted by internet bullies on Ask.fm, a social network popular with teenagers.

Police, who seized her computer and mobile phone as part of the investigation, said she was last tormented by abusive messages on the site three months ago.

"You're gross: go hide yourself," a user wrote her in January. "You're so ugly," wrote another. "You make me feel sick."

It is not clear whether the abuse played a role in Aurora's apparent suicide.

Her profile on the website suggests the girl was haunted by low-self esteem.

"I don't'know why you all keep on telling me the same lie," she wrote on the site a few days ago, in reply to a user who wrote: "You're so beautiful".

Police believe Aurora slipped out of her family flat on the fourth floor of the building early in the morning, went up two floors, opened a window on to the courtyard and threw herself down.

Minutes earlier, she wrote to a few friends on WhatsApp: "I love you, goodbye."

Ask.fm allows users to ask questions and send messages to each other anonymously, a system that critics say is exploited by bullies.

The site recently announced changes to its safety policies following the death of British teenager Hannah Smith, who hanged herself after she was target by trolls on Ask.fm.

The site was caught up in a backlash last year over claims that it encouraged cyber-bullying.

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