Police said the 17-year-old was killed early Sunday morning by her boyfriend, 21-year-old Bridgeport man Brandon A. Clark, in an attempted murder-suicide.
UTICA, N.Y. — As the family of South Utica teen Bianca Devins mourns her death and police continue the investigation, community members seek to make sense of the tragedy.
Police said the 17-year-old was killed early Sunday morning by her boyfriend, 21-year-old Bridgeport man Brandon A. Clark, in an attempted murder-suicide. Clark — who is in the hospital due to injuries suffered while he tried to take his own life, according to the Utica Police Department — was charged with second-degree murder.
Devins’ family released a statement Tuesday morning relating to the legitimacy of some community support efforts in the wake of her death.
“The family of Bianca Devins would like to inform the public that our family has not, at this time, authorized or set up internet or other fund-raising or donation sites for Bianca or in Bianca’s name,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, there are some fund-raising sites that have been put up on the internet purporting to be raising funds for Bianca and these are not legitimate sites. The Devins/Williams Family will be setting up a donation site in Bianca’s name as a scholarship program for local students. At the proper time this will be made public and specifically be approved by the Devins/Williams Family.”
A family member of Devins, who did not wish to speak on the record, indicated that the family is still in a state of shock but does plan to make additional public statements at some point.
Clark allegedly stabbed Devins to death with a knife and then took photos of her and posted them on social media.
Police said two people alerted authorities after seeing the images. This led to a 7:20 a.m. Sunday discovery when police were dispatched to a wooded area. Police said officers found Clark lying on the ground next to a black SUV with Devins under a green tarp nearby. Clark was arrested and taken to an area hospital for emergency surgery.
Clark was arraigned at the hospital and remained there Tuesday under police guard, said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, who added that he anticipated Clark to be released from care possibly sometime this week and held in Oneida County jail.
Police said Devins and Clark attended a concert Saturday night in New York City where they got into an argument that continued upon their arrival at Poe Street.
McNamara said the case is still under investigation and police are now examining data stored on cellphones and computers that they seized as evidence.
In Bridgeport, Clark’s neighbors were also in shock over the tragedy.
Bill Martin said he believed Clark moved to the Route 298 area about a year ago and occasionally drove for Lyft or Uber. Martin said he attended the vigil Monday night to support the victim’s family and the healing process.
“You never know what’s in people’s minds,” Martin said. “What could be so bad that people would do that? It’s sad. … We need to put our differences aside and heal.”
The Utica City School District will provide counseling services in the wake of Devins’ death. She graduated from Thomas R. Proctor High School in June.
“The Utica City School District community is saddened to learn about the tragic and untimely passing of one of our 2019 graduates, Bianca Devins,” district Superintendent Bruce Karam said in a statement. “We share our deepest heartfelt condolences with her family and loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.”