The family of an 18-year-old girl who committed suicide said the online harassment that tormented her during her life has continued.
Last month, Brandy Vela fatally shot herself in front of family at their home in Texas City, Texas. The family insists she took her life after months of relentless cyber-bullying on social media, including fake profiles offering sex. But as they grieve their loss, they say bogus Facebook accounts of the high school senior continue to crop up online.
One of the profiles showed guns on a photo of her, while another had a picture of the teen, who was bullied for her weight, as a pig.
“I know what she was going through now. It’s not that easy just to shut it off and let it go,” her father Raul Vela told news station KHOU on Tuesday.
He said the harassing pages of their daughter are making it difficult for the family to grieve.
“I thought all this was behind us but it’s not over,” he said.
The pages were removed after the family complained to Facebook, but authorities have not been able to determine who was behind the bullying. Police are still investigating the death as a cyber-bullying crime.
Before her death, Brandy Vela filed police reports about the fake accounts and changed her number after receiving harassing calls, but had little recourse to stop the bullying.
“[The police] couldn’t do anything because [the suspects] used an app and it wasn’t traceable, and they couldn’t do something until something happened, like they fight,” her sister Jackie Vela told CNN.
She said the family knew something was wrong on Nov. 29 when her sister sent them a concerning message. They rushed home to find Brandy Vela alive, with a gun pressed to her chest, but were unable to convince her put the firearm down.
The teen’s parents and grandparents were home during her final moments, according to reports.
Her father remains determined to find the bullies who tormented his daughter.
“I want justice,” Raul Vela said. “And I will for years. We’ll never, we’ll never stop.”