Social media is mourning the loss of Bianca Devins, 17, who was killed over the weekend.
Devins was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend Brandon Clark, 21, who posted photos of her dead body online.
The horrifying crime took place in Utica, New York, and local police released a statement detailing what happened.
Utica police received a call around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning that a male had posted on social media that he had “killed his girlfriend, and was threatening to harm himself.”
The suspect then called 911 himself and made “incriminating statements with respect to the homicide” and again alluded that “he was going to harm himself.”
Police were able to determine his location and rushed to the scene, where they spotted a black SUV and a man lying beside it. As the officers approached “he began to stab himself in the neck with a knife.”
The man then moved over to a green tarp “some distance away” where an officer “noticed brown hair protruding.” When asked the whereabouts of the injured female, the man said she was under the tarp. Police say, “It was at this time that is believed that the male took self-photographs of himself laying across the deceased female.”
Upon lifting the tarp, they found “a young female had suffered extensive injuries to her neck, and was obviously deceased.”
Officers were able to disarm the man and rush him to the hospital for surgery. He is expected to survive. He was later charged with second-degree murder.
Police believe Bianca and Brandon met on Instagram and had been dating for about two months. They had attended a concert in NYC on Saturday night and driven back to Utica afterward. Sometime in the early morning hours on Sunday, they got into a fight and the “argument progressed until the male produced a large, black handled knife, and used this to inflict the injuries that caused her death.”
Law enforcement also confirmed “the images distributed of both the victim and the offender’s injuries are authentic and occurred at the time of the incident. We are actively working with the various social media platforms to address the sharing and distribution of these images.”
Buzzfeed reports that photos of Devins’ dead body were on Instagram for hours with a filter, before the company eventually took down Clark’s account, @yesjuliet, for violating their policies.
On Monday, her family released a statement, saying, “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.”
The message continued, “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.”
She had just graduated high school and was planning to attend Mohawk Valley Community College in the fall.