Several months ago, we discussed the suicide of Brandy Vela, the teenager from Texas who took her own life in front of her family after being bullied relentlessly in school and online.
Now, according to People, two individuals have been arrested in connection to Vela’s death.
On March 16, with the assistance of U.S. Marshals, the Texas City Police Department arrested 22-year old Andres Arturo Villagomez and 22-year-old Karinthya Sanchez Romero. Villagomez was charged with unlawful disclosure or promotion of intimate visual material. He is apparently being held on $2,500 bond. Romero has been charged with stalking and online impersonation. Both with a bond of $10,000.
Villagomez and Vela had apparently dated. Romero is Villagomez’s current girlfriend.
“We found out this morning that the arrests had been made. We really hope that they get the maximum charge,” said Brandy Vela’s sister Jackie to People. “We’ll never get Brandy back, but this gives us some peace of mind. We’re grateful.”
According to Cosmopolitan, Vela’s family previously brought their situation to the police, but no action was taken.
Lately, bullying has been a major issue in the community. An anti-bullying rally was held this past weekend in La Marque, Texas, where families of bullied teens shared stories.The goal of the rally was to open the lines of communication between those who had been bullied, and the people that are available to talk to if they need help.
Raul Vela, the father of Brandy Vela, spoke at the rally.
“They tortured my daughter for six months nonstop,” he said. “Just because two people are sitting in jail doesn’t stop the bullying and the harassment,” he continued.
It’s a travesty that an anti-bullying rally needs to be held because bullying is such an epidemic. Jackie Vela is right: the arrests of her sister’s tormentors won’t bring her back, but it does show that disgusting treatment of another human being will not be tolerated, and that the consequences will be extreme if they don’t abide by basic human principles.