WARNING – GRAPHIC DETAILS: A man found seriously injured near the body of a 17-year-old girl is suspected to have killed her and posted photos of her corpse online, US police said Monday.
Authorities found Bianca Devins’ body on Sunday outside a vehicle in Utica, in New York, along with suspect Brandon Clark, 21, who was hospitalised but expected to survive.
Police are investigating the case as a murder and attempted suicide, Lieutenant Bryan Coromato said.
A police statement claims the man had called 911 and made incriminating statements in regards to the alleged homicide.
“He was also alluding to the fact that he was going to harm himself,” the statement says.
Police said when they attended the scene the man began to stab himself in the neck with a knife.
“After attempting to injure himself, he laid down across a green tarp that was on the ground some distance away,” the statement said.
“Information that we have received is that they in fact did go to the concert,” police said in the statement.
“They left the venue and proceeded back to Utica sometime after 10pm. It is believed that some sort of argument ensued at the venue.
“The investigation revealed that the argument progressed until the male produced a large, black-handled knife, and used this to inflict the injuries that caused her death.”
The police statement said during this time it is believed he took and distributed photos of the killing and police were also contacted after being made aware of the images.
“We can confirm that the images distributed of both the victim and offender’s injuries are authentic and occurred at the time of the incident,” police said.
‘She in no way deserved this’
Devins has a following of more than 70,000 on Instagram and the Rolling Stone reports she was allegedly murdered by a friend who became obsessed with her.
“She in no way deserved this,” one wrote on Devins Instagram account following her death.
“The officer immediately noticed brown hair protruding from beneath the tarp and inquired where the female was.
“The male advised him that the female was beneath the tarp, and proceeded to pull out a cell phone. It was at this time that it is believed the male took self-photographs of himself laying across the deceased female.”
Police said they had determined the pair had met on social media about two months ago and their relationship progressed into a personally intimate one.
The pair had planned to go to a concert together in New York City on Saturday July 13, police said.
Investigators believe the man allegedly posted pictures of the girl’s corpse on Instagram, gaming website Discord and 4chan.
At least one of the photos was widely circulated, Lieutenant Coromato said.
Devins’ death sparked a wave of attention and disgust online over the pictures.
Some urged others to stop circulating the images.
A family statement released by the Utica Police said the 17-year-old was “a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon”.
Officials with the Utica City School District said Devins was a 2019 graduate of Proctor High School.
The district issued a statement saying they “share our deepest heartfelt condolences with her family and loved ones”.