The investigation is continuing into the murder of a 17-year-old Utica girl, while her accused killer remains hospitalized with self-inflicted wounds, according to law enforcement officials.
Meanwhile, the family of the victim has set up a scholarship fund in their daughter’s name, and they have denounced any other online efforts to raise money.
Police said Brandon A. Clark, age 21, of Cicero, slashed his girlfriend’s throat on Poe Street in Utica at around 7 a.m. Sunday. Police said Clark then took photographs of the mutilated body of 17-year-old Bianca Devins and posted them on social media.
Police said Clark telephoned 9-1-1 and made incriminating statements. When officers found him on Poe Street, police said Clark tried to stab his own neck with the weapon. The officers took Clark into custody and he underwent emergency surgery at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica.
Clark has been charged with second-degree murder while in the hospital, officials said. It has not yet been scheduled whether Clark will appear in Utica City Court for further court proceedings or if the District Attorney’s Office will seek an indictment while he’s in the hospital.
Utica Police said they are investigating the history between Clark and Devins, who they said met about two months ago via social media.
Police said the pair’s relationship grew online, where Devins had a following up of upward of 30,000 people on Instagram, among other social media networks. Police said the pair attended a concert in New York City Saturday night, where authorities believe they got into an argument on their way back to Utica.
The Devins’ family have since announced most online fundraising efforts in Bianca’s name are illegitimate. The family has not set up a GoFundMe.com page.
“We are grateful to the many who have expressed a wish to make monetary donations in Bianca’s name. Unfortunately, there are several false websites that have been created. These sites do not have the approval or permission of Bianca’s family,” the family said in a statement.
Instead, the family said they have set up the Bianca Michelle Devins Scholarship Fund with help from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Devins graduated Proctor High School in June and planned to attend Mohawk Valley Community College in the fall.
“These funds will be used for a scholarship for students pursuing a degree in psychology so they can continue Bianca’s dream to help adolescents with mental illness,” the family stated.
Scholarship donations can be made at the website www.foundationhoc.org/Bianca.