On July 14 2019, rumors began spreading on Instagram, Reddit, Discord, 4Chan, Twitter, and other social media sites about purported disturbing posts shared by Instagram user @YesJuliet about an alleged murder of a 17-year-old girl named Bianca Devins (@escty and @beegtfo.)
A second post was submitted to Reddit’s r/outoftheloop, a subreddit for users seeking information on rumors or other content:
Many early reports claimed that the victim was the girlfriend or ex-girlfriend of the alleged assailant, but later reports suggested that the killer stalked and located the victim on his own, and that there was no relationship between the two. Various profiles for the slain girl were visible on social sites, and the hashtag #ripbianca appeared on memorial posts.
Also on July 14 2019, local news outlets in Utica, New York reported a murder matching the description of the rumors (describing the victim as a “woman” despite the fact that she was only 17):
Police received an “attempt to locate” call at around 7 a.m. [July 14 2019], according to the police department. Police said investigators were directed to the end of Poe Street off Culver Avenue, where they found an SUV with one woman dead and a man who sustained serious injuries.
The details of the event are under investigation at this time. The identities of the individuals have not yet been released.
Utica Police Lt. Bryan Coromato says a woman was pronounced dead, and a man was rushed to the hospital in what they are calling a possible domestic incident.
Coromato did provide more information regarding the call that came in to police around 7:00 Sunday morning that led police to the crime scene on Poe Street, “We got a call from one of the parents that was concerned about some things that were occurring in the relationship at this point. At this point that call along with what occurred is still under investigation so we have nothing further to release at this point on that.”
On July 15 2019, Coromato confirmed that police were aware of graphic images shared to Clark’s @YesJuliet account on the day of the murder:
Coromato also said Utica police were aware there were social media postings of the victim dead — with unspecified injuries. He said he could not confirm whether the photos were authentic, and said the department plans to meet with the woman’s family [on the afternoon of July 15 2019]. When asked about the “murder weapon,” though, Coromato did say, “It appears to have been a sharp instrument.” No additional details were released.
The social media role wasn’t immediately clear [on July 15 2019] — but two separate companies issued statements on the matter.
Instagram issued a statement Monday saying it had removed an image from account @yesjuliet for violating its policies and had taken steps to prevent other users from re-uploading the image to the social platform. The account referenced has an associated name of Brandon Andrew Clark and lists a birthday of Oct. 6, 1997 along with a date of death — [July 14 2019].
Instagram user Liv Devins shared a post about the loss of her sister on July 14 2019, including a teenager who resembled the woman in the circulating social media posts:
View this post on Instagram
I hate that I have to write this. I hate knowing you’re not going to ever come back home. You were the best sister anyone could’ve ever asked for. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being the best sister I could ever imagine .Thank you for always protecting me and sticking up for me. I am going to do this for you. Every day I’m going to do my best and I’m going to get through this thing called life and do it all for you. Rest easy, I love you so much forever and always .
Clark’s brother also shared an image and addressed the angry messages he had received:
View this post on Instagram
Shoutout to all the people who target someone’s family and blame them for a persons decisions. Nothing better than waking up at 4am to find out your brother killed someone and tried to kill himself, and when you’re trying to understand and comprehend how the person you looked up to, and taught you so much is responsible for such a horrible act, and people proceed to go out and blame you for what he did. So here I am stationed in Alaska for military service wanting nothing more than to wake up and be back home hoping this is some sick twisted nightmare, instead I’m all the way across the country. I’m deeply sorry something like this came from my family and my heart goes out for the family of the victim, but think about when his little sister and brothers find out what a disgusting thing he’s done, and get blamed for it. They’re kids.
Unverified message screenshots purportedly sent by the victim to the alleged murdered were shared on Twitter by Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray):
They played a couple of video games online together and he arrived at the conclusion that they were simply meant to be together forever. These texts are after less than a week of first meeting. pic.twitter.com/kObDM8u4HR
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 15, 2019
Update, July 15 2019, 5:39 PM: Police identified the victim as Bianca Devins, 17, of Utica, and the alleged assailant as Brandon Andrew Clark, 21. Police also indicated that Clark knew Devins prior to the murder, possibly contraindicating reports that they had never met.