A man who began stabbing himself in the neck when approached by an officer is accused of killing a 17-year-old girl and posting photos of the homicide online, police said Monday. Authorities identified the suspect as Brandon Clark, according to CBS Syracuse affiliate WSTM.
Bianca Devins’ body was found Sunday underneath a tarp in Utica, New York, after an officer encountered Clark. The 21-year-old suspect had emergency surgery but is expected to survive, police said.
The two attended a concert together Saturday night in New York City, where they reportedly got into some sort of argument at the venue. They arrived in Utica sometime in the early morning hours Sunday and went to a location on a dead-end street. The argument “progressed” until Clark used a large, black handled knife to kill the teenager, according to a police statement.
Investigators believe the man then posted pictures of the girl’s body online, where at least one of them was widely circulated, Utica police Lt. Bryan Coromato said. The case is being investigated as a murder and attempted suicide.
Devins and Clark met on Instagram, where Devins had amassed more than 70,000 followers, about two months ago. “They had spent time together, and were acquainted with each other’s families,” according to authorities.
Devins’ family commented on her death through the police, describing the teen as “a talented artist” and “a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon.”
“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives,” the family wrote. “She will always be remembered as our Princess.”
The family statement said Devins graduated from high school last month and looked forward to attending a community college in the fall.
Her death sparked a wave of attention and disgust online. Some internet users urged others to stop circulating the images.
The Utica City School District issued a statement saying they “share our deepest heartfelt condolences with her family and loved ones.”