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Texas man charged with threatening family of suicide victim

Posted at 8:59 PM, Nov 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-08 21:59:45-05

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Texas man who allegedly had an online relationship with a 16-year-old Virginia girl has been charged with cyberstalking and threatening the girl's family following her suicide.

Adrian Raul O'Dell, of Odessa, was arrested this week in Texas.

Prosecutors said O'Dell, now 19, communicated online with a girl who lived in Linden, Virginia, from September 2017 to March 2018. The girl communicated with O'Dell about various topics, including depression and suicide, an indictment against O'Dell said.

In May 2018, the girl's body was found in a wooded area near her home. An investigation by the Warren County Sheriff's Office determined that the girl died by suicide.

O'Dell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Charlottesville on Oct. 15, charged with three counts of cyberstalking and two counts of making interstate threats.

The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, says O'Dell sent a series of online messages to the girl's family in which he took credit for her suicide and threatened her family.

Officials said that weeks after the girl's body was discovered, O'Dell sent an email to the sheriff's office, telling an investigator that he knew who drove the girl to suicide, that the person was named "Adrian" and that he lived in Odessa, Texas.

After that, O'Dell used various social media sites, including Facebook, Snapchat and Amino to send messages to the girl's family, including her mother, father, brother and sister, according to the indictment.

In one message sent to the girl's mother through a Facebook account, he wrote: "I'm glad I called that hit out on her, I'm glad I killed her," according to excerpts included in the indictment. He also threatened to "come to Virginia and blow up yo (vulgarity)," officials said.

The indictment said O'Dell continued to send threatening messages after he was served with a restraining order in January prohibiting him from threatening or contacting members of the girl's family.

It was not immediately clear when O'Dell would be brought to Virginia to be arraigned on the charges in U.S. District Court. No attorney was listed for O'Dell in court papers.

David Archey, special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond division, said in a news release that the girl's family, while still mourning her death, "was re-victimized with the messages sent by the accused."