An 18-year-old teenage girl shot herself in November. Now, her ex-boyfriend and his current girlfriend are facing serious criminal charges related to her death.
Texas City teen Brandy Vela committed suicide right in front of her family. Authorities say her ex-boyfriend shared nude pictures of her online, which helped to push her over the edge.
Relatives of Vela say her suicide was the result of a “long-running bullying campaign.” Her sister insists that the high school senior had been continuously harassed because she was overweight.
Reports say fake social media profiles were even created by cyberbullies pretending to be Brandy Vela. The profiles listed her actual phone number, and said to the world that she wanted sex.
For months, it was a cold case. However, the harassment and cyberbullying didn’t stop after the Vela’s suicide. Facebook posts continued to pop up mocking the dead teen.
However, on Thursday police announced that they had arrested Andres Villagomez who they said knew Vela “through a previous dating relationship.”
The 21-year-old, who now lives in Galveston, was charged with unlawfullt disclosing intimate visual material, a misdemeanor, for sharing photos days before her death that showed Vela at least partially naked.
Villagomez’s current girlfriend Karinthya Romero, 22, was also arrested and faces stricter charges, felony stalking and felony online impersonation.
Charging documents say that she had been making repeated harassing phone calls and “electronic communications” to Vela since last August, as well as making a fake Facebook page for her.
Romero’s charges both carry a minimum of two years in prison in Texas, and a release from the Texas City Police says both are currently in jail on bail.
It was not immediately clear what alleged actions led to the charges, and the different accusations against Romero and Villagomez.
A GoFundMe page set up by her family said “ the harsh messages and fake social media pages created to bully and impersonate her became too much for her to handle.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.