Second Texas City teen commits suicide since November

TEXAS CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- For the second time since November, a Texas City student has committed suicide. This time it was late Friday, Feb. 10, at a local park.

Raul Vela doesn't know the child who killed herself this past weekend, but he can empathize with her family's pain.

His daughter Brandi committed suicide in November. Both girls were students at Texas City High School.

"My heart broke and I feel for that family," he told Eyewitness News. "After the tragic event we went through, I was hoping that would be the last we ever hear about this. I was really thinking this won't happen again for another five to ten years."

Police are still investigating Brandi's death. She was the target of relentless cyber bullies. After she died, the school district reacted by providing counseling and workshops which included a public meeting for parents.

UTMB Professor and psychologist Jeff Temple was among the professional counselors there and is helping the district.

"Talk to your kids about their well-being and their mental health," said Dr. Temple. "Use this story as an opportunity to talk to them about what they're going through and if they've had thoughts of this nature. It's OK to ask people. So it's OK to ask your kids if they've had these types of thoughts."

Temple says overall suicides have remained constant for the last two decades, but those among young women have risen. He calls it an epidemic. It's one that Raul Vela feels personally and knows needs to be talked about openly.

"No other child should have to feel like there is no other solution. And that taking their lives is the only way to deal with it," he said.

Police say there is still the possibility of filing charges against Brandi's tormentors but putting together the case takes time. They do say this latest suicide is in no way related to Brandi Vela's death.
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