Stillwater grad takes her own life after making porn video

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FOX 9 has investigated the death of a 19-year-old Stillwater High School graduate, a straight-A student who starred in a pornographic video and then took her own life after she was taunted on social media.

In the video, shot in Las Vegas by the company Casting Couch Videos, Alyssa Funke (FOX 9 did not use her last name) tells the camera, "I'm Stella Ann. I'm 18, from Minnesota, and I'm really looking forward to get started."

It was just a few days after the video was posted to the web last month that former classmates at Stillwater and others sent her unkind messages on Facebook and Twitter, FOX reports. One wrote, "Wow your a thot" (slang for promiscuous). "Does her dad know?"

Funke tweeted back, seemingly unfazed.

In another tweet, she says, "Porn star status: OK"

But two days later, on April 16, two weeks after the video was posted, Funke killed herself with a 12-gauge shotgun at a boat landing on Big Carnelia Lake.

Washington County Sheriff's Office detectives are still investigating, but they don't believe the postings on social media amount to criminal harassment, FOX reports. A Stillwater High School spokesperson noted that the school had not had complaints about bullying in the case, and they note that Funke was no longer a student there.

Funke's family told FOX 9 that she had struggled with depression, but they believe the taunts on social media played a significant role in her death. So did classmates at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, FOX reports. Funke was a biology major, according to the student newspaper.

Funke's obituary notes that she left behind nine siblings and "many close friends." An anti-bullying fundraising effort was launched after her death, but only raised $165.

At River Falls, the chancellor sent out an email suggesting students could send condolence notes to the family through the university, and the campus newspaper noted that counseling was available for students.

Details of Funke's story may sound familiar; she's not the first adult screen actress to commit suicide.

In one high-profile 1984 case, a porn actress named Colleen Applegate, who grew up in Farmington, Minnesota, killed herself after a battle with drugs at age 20. "Colleen used them to get what she wanted," her mother Karen Applegate told People magazine of the pornographers her daughter worked for, "but they used her. They're still using her." Applegate's story became the basis of a 1988 TV movie called "Shattered Innocence."

The Los Angeles Times in 1994 examined the deaths of three porn actresses, and noted that, at the time, the adult film industry was prompted to react to the violent deaths of some of its top stars.

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