Two teenagers were arrested on Monday night on charges of aggravated stalking, a third-degree felony, following the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick, a seventh grader in central Florida, last month. While investigators were building up a body of evidence against the two teenagers—one of whom is 14 years old, the other 12—Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said that a post on Facebook compelled him to act on a more expedited schedule.
According to The New York Times, the older teenager was brazen in her lack of remorse:
In Internet shorthand it began “Yes, ik” — I know — “I bullied Rebecca nd she killed herself.” The writer concluded that she didn’t care, using an obscenity to make the point and a heart as a perverse flourish.
The sheriff said that postings like that compelled him to prevent her from acting in a similar way to others. "We learned this over the weekend, and we decided that, look, we can’t leave her out there," he said in a statement to the press. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the girls admitted to bullying Sedwick following their arrest.
Sheriff Judd also laid some of the blame on the older girl's parents, who did little to curtail their daughter's online activity:
"I’m aggravated that the parents are not doing what parents should do: after she is questioned and involved in this, why does she even have a device?" Sheriff Judd said. "Parents, who instead of taking that device and smashing it into a thousand pieces in front of that child, say her account was hacked."
The investigation is still trying to get access to data from online services Kik and ask.fm, the latter of which has a history of being involved in teenage harassment.
The older suspect, identified as the main perpetrator, is being held in juvenile detention, while the younger suspect, who has been described as formerly Sedwick's best friend, is being held under house arrest.
[Pictured: the victim, Rebecca Sedwick]