Brandy Vela: Texas Teen Who Took Her Life Because Of Cyberbullying Still Trolled In Death
The Texas teen who took her life in front of her family because of cyber bullying is still being trolled in death, the New York Post is reporting. Brandy Vela, a high school senior shot herself in the chest in front of her family, after being tormented by online bullies. According to the Vela family, the online abuse towards the 18-year-old has continued even in death.
Since Brandy took her life, fake Facebook profiles have continued to show up, one of such profiles depicted her as an overweight pig, another profile showed the teenager in the midst of guns. The distasteful pages were blocked after the family complained to Facebook.
Her devastated father, Raul Vela said the family was struggling to move on from the tragedy, adding that it was shocking that it was far from over. Raul said his family would pursue justice no matter how long it took.
Days after her suicide, cyber bullies continue to torment the family of Brandy Vela. A father's cries for justice at 10 #kHOU11 pic.twitter.com/zeZ7qA8vaZ
— John (Rucks) Russell (@RucksRussell) December 13, 2016
“I know what she was going through now. It’s not that easy just to shut it off and let it go. I thought all this was behind us but it’s not over. I want justice. And I will for years. We’ll never, we’ll never stop.”
Raul said his daughter worked as a waitress at a restaurant but had dreams of becoming a veterinarian. Brandy’s father said he was proud of his daughter, adding that the family had lost an angel.
According to the Daily Mail, the Houston-area high school student was consistently bullied about her weight online. Her phone number and photo was also used on dating websites imploring people to call because she was offering sex for free. According to her father, her phone was always ringing non-stop.
A spokeswoman for the Texas City Independent School District, Melissa Tortorici confirmed that Brandy had raised concerns over the avalanche of harassing messages she was getting on her phone. According to her, the problem was investigated, but the messages could not be traced because they were being sent from apps.
“Our deputy investigated it and the app that was being used to send the messages was untraceable. We encouraged her to change her phone number. I am not sure if that was done.”
Tortorici described the 18-year-old as well-liked, adding that she touched many lives evident by the outpouring of tributes after the tragedy. She said the aggravated dangers of bullying had become even scarier because of the presence of technology.
“Today’s young adults and teenagers have grown up with technology and they have access to it 24/7. Many times they become bold over technology and text things they would never say directly to someone’s face. It’s extremely difficult to stop someone from sending messages when apps make it easy to remain anonymous.”
According to CBS News, Brandy had sent text messages to family members telling them that she was going to kill herself. Her older sister, Jacqueline, was home and it was the sobbing of her younger sister that made her rush to the room. The 22-year-old saw her sister in a corner with a gun pointed at her chest. Jacqueline begged her sister not to take her life.
“I heard someone crying. So I ran upstairs and I looked in her room, and she’s against the wall and she has a gun pointed at her chest and she’s just crying and crying and I’m like ‘Brandy, please don’t. Brandy, no.”
The 22-year-old was soon joined by her parents and grandparents who tried to calm the 18-year-old down and stop her from going ahead with killing herself. Her father said they begged Brandy not to do it, but she was determined to see it through.
Anti-cyberbullying activist mocked in new viral meme speaks out, netizens rally behind her https://t.co/5bSETQYadU
— SocialJeanie (@Social_Jeanie) December 14, 2016
“We tried to persuade her to put the gun down, but she was determined. She said she’d come too far to turn back. It was very unfortunate that I had to see that. It’s hard when your daughter tells you to turn around. You feel helpless. I was almost certain that I could persuade her to put that gun down. It didn’t work. She pulled the trigger.”
The family said the bullies always found her no matter the measures she took. Jacqueline Vela said she had a good idea who may have been behind some of the online onslaughts and is helping out with the investigation.
[Featured Image by Brandy Vela/Facebook]