A woman was discovered dead in her home in Renfrew, Scotland, after her worried online gaming friends alerted the police and her dog walker in Scotland.
As first reported by The Daily Record, 36-year-old Lauren Black, a single mother of two, didn't log into the game Evony: The King’s Return for 48 hours, which caused her online gaming friends from across the world to be concerned for her safety.
An online friend of Black's from Israel, named Eyal Elhadad, told the Daily Record that he had called Scottish police after suspecting something was wrong with his friend, known online as VAL, or ValkyrieSoar.
"Lauren and I have spoken every day for the last four years, so her failure to respond to my messages or log into the game concerned me and other online family members,” he said.
He said that he felt that she “was acting very strangely” and that they exchanged messages on New Year's Day and then stopped communicating from there.
After being unable to contact Lauren for two days, Elhadad contacted the authorities in Scotland, as well as her dog walker.
“I pleaded with them to check on her as we were all so worried. I just wanted to know she was okay."
Black’s body was discovered by her dog walker at her house on 3 January.
It was reported that Black was well-loved by her family and online friends. According to Elhadad, many of Lauren’s friends in-game are hoping to travel to Scotland to personally attend her funeral.
"I was devastated when I found out she had died. I couldn't believe it. I still can't. At the moment, there are hundreds of people around the world crying over her passing. The outpouring of love I have seen has been incredible.
"So many of us want to pay our respects. People are willing to travel hundreds of miles to say goodbye to Lauren. She was so loved and liked."
Lauren's uncle, Ivan, who is helping to look after Lauren’s twin sons, told the media that he was “in disbelief at what has happened.”
“It's so hard to take in, and we know dealing with what's happened is going to be a long road ahead. Lauren was totally dedicated to her boys, and our family's priority right now is making sure they are okay."
Her mother, Iris Black, also reportedly said that she was “beyond devastated by what has happened”.
Police are still investigating the cause of Lauren’s death, which is currently “unexplained”.
"We were made aware of the death of a woman at a property on Edgar Crescent in Renfrew around 10:10 AM (GMT) on Tuesday, January 3," a Police Scotland spokesperson said in a statement to the press.
"The death is being treated as unexplained, and investigations are continuing."
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.