Vigil held for Brandy Vela, teen who committed suicide after 'relentless bullying'

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Through songs and prayer alongside candlelight, hundreds turned out to Texas City High School's football stadium.

They were all there to support the family of 18-year-old Brandy Vela.

Raul Vela, her father said, "It's raining, it's cold. People have children to put to bed, but everybody chose to come out and support my family. That is the greatest feeling."

The family said after months of cyber bullying the high school senior took her life on Tuesday.

This evening though was dedicated to remembering her.

"I feel blessed, I really do. I feel so blessed right now to have so many people praying for me and my family," Vela said.

Mercedes Ceballos, a family friend explained, "Maybe she didn't feel as loved as she thought she was, but look at all these people here for her. It's amazing to see."

Also at the vigil was Judith Briggs whose son, John that went to the same school and also took his life at 18 after battling depression back in 2013.

A common pain of losing a young life, bringing 2 families together.

"I just wanted to show my support and somehow raise awareness about depression and suicide," Briggs said.

And it's that kind of support from friends, family and even total strangers that Brandy's family said that is helping them get through this difficult time.

"I was in the store the other day getting something and someone gave me a hug and told me it was going to be all right. And you know what, it lifted my head up and said you're right. You're absolutely right. It's going to be all right," said Vela.

It's a tragic passing that's now bringing a community together to support the family of 18-year-old Brandy Vela.

Her family hopes for stricter laws and more awareness about cyberbullying.

Despite a tragic end and a life cut short, Brandy's family is now beginning the healing process, with the help of others.

"A lot of times words can't heal. It's when people come around. That's what builds me up. Seeing the support," Raul Vela said.

The bullies are said to have used an untraceable app, making it difficult for police to track them.

Her father says it all led to a breaking point for Brandy, who said she couldn't take it any more Tuesday afternoon before taking her own life.

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