After months of online torment, a Texas teen fatally shot herself in front of her horrified family. Could she have been saved? Subscribe now to PEOPLE, or pick up this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday, for more on this story.
“I thought all this was behind us,” her father, Raul Vela, told KHOU 11 on Tuesday, “but it’s not over.”
Rual, who is in the midst of grieving the loss of his daughter and who could not immediately be reached, told the TV station that one Facebook page has been created that shows a picture of a pig with Brandy’s face on it. Another page shows guns, he said.
“I know what she was going through now,” he said. “It’s not that easy just to shut it off and let it go.”
The Vela family says that, on Nov. 29, after months of being cyberbullied, Brandy shot herself in the chest at their home in Texas City, Texas.
Since April, people harassed Brandy online about her weight and created Facebook accounts with her phone number and photo that said she would “offer free sex,” her relatives tell PEOPLE.
“It didn’t stop,” her sister Jackie says. “What they did wasn’t just bullying — it was stalking.”
“They would say, ‘I’m a slut and I’m a hoe. Anybody hit me up,’ ” Jackie explains. “It also had her phone number, so she would get text messages and phone calls all the time. It kept her up at night.”
Brandy’s school, Texas City High School, acknowledges that she came to them about harassing messages before Thanksgiving but that there was nothing they could do.
“Our deputy investigated it, and the app that was being used to send the messages was untraceable,” the school said in a statement to PEOPLE. They also encouraged Brandy to change her phone number.
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“I want justice, and I will for years,” Raul Vela told KHOU. “We’ll never, we’ll never stop.”
The Texas City Police Department, who began a criminal investigation into the alleged cyberbully, took to Facebook on Tuesday to say that investigators can and will find out who is responsible. No suspects have arrested.
Despite the harassment, Rual said he’s also overwhelmed by the love and support his family has received, which he says is “so sincere.”