A 21-year-old man named Brandon Clark killed 17-year-old internet personality Bianca Devins on Sunday and posted photos of her slain body on social media before attempting suicide, Utica, N.Y., police said Monday afternoon.
Devins, who is known online as an “e-girl” with a social media presence on Instagram under the names @escty and @beegtfo, as well as on gaming website Discord and discussion forum 4chan, allegedly met the suspect online nearly two months ago, according to police. Devins and Clark utilized Instagram as a means of communication before their relationship progressed into a personally intimate one, leading them to spend time together and even meet each other’s families.
However, things escalated when the two attended a concert together on Saturday night, just hours before Clark posted graphic photos of Devins on his Instagram and to a server on Discord where he wrote, “Sorry f*****s, you’re gonna have to find someone else to orbit,” according to Rolling Stone, referring to men who lurk around the social media accounts of women they’re sexually interested in. Clark also updated his Instagram bio on @yesjuliet to “10/06/1997 - 7/14/2019 Just know that I feel no pain now,” alluding to his suicide attempt.
The social media posts prompted numerous calls to a nearby county’s dispatch at 7:20 a.m. on Sunday where someone reported that Clark said he had killed his girlfriend and was threatening to harm himself, police say. Clark then called 911 himself and made incriminating statements about the homicide before Utica police officers were dispatched to his location.
Police say that the first officer to arrive on the scene found Clark lying on the ground beside a black SUV. When the officer approached, the suspect began to stab himself in the neck with a knife. The officer requested emergency medical care as Clark then laid himself across a green tarp that was on the ground, where officers discovered brown hair protruding from beneath.
When asked about where the female, who was said to be his girlfriend, was located, Clark told the officer that she was beneath the tarp. The suspect then pulled out a cell phone and took photos of himself laying across the deceased female.
Clark was ultimately disarmed by multiple officers and brought to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, and is expected to survive. He was charged with second-degree murder on Monday evening.
The police confirmed that the images distributed of both the victim and the offender’s injuries are authentic, and are working with various social media platforms to stop their distribution.
Now, Devins’s family is commemorating the teen on social media, in addition to thousands of others participating in the trending hashtag #ripbianca. Some are even using the opportunity to speak out about the dangers of women meeting men online.
Another girl, who goes by “bebe” on Twitter and identifies herself as Devins’ friend, posted a thread addressing the misinformation circulating about the teen’s death, where she wrote that “the killer wasn’t a stalker or her ex-boyfriend.”
The alleged killer’s brother, James Ward, also took to social media to address threats that he’s received as a result of Clark’s horrific decision.
“Nothing better than waking up at 4am to find out your brother killed someone and tried to kill himself, and when you’re trying to understand and comprehend how the person you looked up to, and taught you so much is responsible for such a horrible act, and people proceed to go out and blame you for what he did,” the active military member wrote. “I’m deeply sorry something like this came from my family and my heart goes out for the family of the victim, but think about when his little sister and brothers find out what a disgusting thing he’s done, and get blamed for it.”
An Instagram representative tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “We disabled the @yesjuliet account for violating our policies. We have also taken steps to prevent others from re-uploading the content posted to that account to Instagram.”
The incriminating photos that were also posted to Discord are no longer publicly accessible through the gaming website.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this terrible situation,” a Discord spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We are working closely with law enforcement to provide any assistance we can. In the meantime, our hearts go out to Bianca’s family and loved ones.”
Devins’s family provided the following statement:
“We are very grateful for the outpouring of love and sympathy we have received from our Friends, Family, Bianca’s Friends and the whole community. Your prayers help to strengthen us through this difficult time.
“Bianca, age 17, was a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon. She is now looking down on us, as she joins her cat, Belle, in heaven. Bianca’s smile brightened our lives. She will always be remembered as our Princess.
“Bianca graduated from T. R. Proctor High School this past June and was looking forward to attending MVCC in the fall.”
If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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