Phoenix, New York (WSYR) -- A New York mother learned her teen son died after a high school football game when she logged on to the Facebook.

A post on the social media website was the first sign that something awful had happened to Jackie Barden's son, Ridge.

"On Facebook, it was on the news. That's how I had to learn of my son's death," Barden said.

Jackie spent three hours frantically trying to find out more, waiting for a school official to show-up at her door.

"Absolutely nothing. We waited all the way up until the next day and still got no phone calls," Barden said.

By morning, her last chance to view Ridge's body was gone.

Coroner Kevin Sharp said Jackie faces two emerging trends that are making death notifications more challenging than ever before - the lightning speed on the Internet and divorce.

"If the people that are there are not forthcoming that there is an estranged spouse or a parent who they are not speaking to... and it doesn't need to be a spouse... it can be a parent, child, sister, brother, anything... we don't know. We don't know who to contact," Sharp said.

The Phoenix School District only found emergency information for one parent. The result created a domino effect and Ridge's mother fell through the cracks.

Read or Share this story: