Many social conservatives and concerned parents worry that technology, especially social media, is helping to desensitize American youth to violence. These fears received extra ammunition this week when it was reported that Brian Roberto Varela, a teenager in Lynnwood, Washington, was handed over to the police after celebrating his gruesome crime in a series of text messages. Varela stands accused of raping 18-year-old Alyssa Mae Noceda as she died from a drug overdose. Rather than contact police or paramedics, Varela grotesquely bragged about his exploits to fellow Dairy Queen co-workers.

Currently, Varela has been charged with a bevy of serious crimes, including manslaughter, homicide by controlled substance, and rape. According to People Magazine, Varela met Noceda sometime in February of 2018. The couple then engaged in recreational drug usage, a decision that ultimately led to Noceda's death. According to fellow students at Mariner High School, Varela admitted in texts that he was not certain if Noceda was alive or dead when they started having sex. One text from Varela supposedly said that Noceda "died having sex with me."

Graphic evidence

While the case has yet to go to trial, several media outlets have already reported some of the particulars of this disturbing case. For instance, authorities say that both Varela and Noceda ingested liquid marijuana and snorted Percocet on the night in question.

After Noceda became unresponsive, Varela allegedly undressed her, took several candid photos, and sexually assaulted her. One published text from Varela reads: "LOL, I think she od'd, still breathing." "OD" is shorthand for overdosing, or taking so many narcotics that the body shuts down.

Even more disturbing messages indicate that Varela was well aware that Noceda had died either during or after his sexual assault.

One text sent to a friend claims that Noceda had "swollen purple/blue lips," which is a clear indication of death. Varela's cold reaction to Noceda's death was further underscored by the fact that Lynnwood investigators learned that Varela worked a double shift at Dairy Queen the day after Noceda's death. After ending his shift, Varela planned on burying Noceda's corpse in some nearby woods.

Varela also planned on using Noceda's thumb or finger to unlock her own cell phone. This would allow Varela to send text messages as Noceda to Noceda's friends and family.

Caught

Varela's ill-planned crime was uncovered after the girlfriend of one of Varela's friends noticed that Noceda's mother, Gina Pierson, had posted "Missing Person" notices on her social media accounts. Varela also hurt his own plans by openly discussing his plans to dismember or bury Noceda's body with his roommate and co-workers. After getting a warrant, police found that Varela had stuffed Noceda's body in a plastic crate. At the residence, Varela's roommate admitted that he had seen Noceda's corpse. A co-worker at Dairy Queen also said that Varela discussed breaking Noceda's legs and draining the blood from her body on the day after her death.

Finally, there is also evidence showing that Varela sent SnapChat messages to Noceda's account after her death.

Varela is currently being held on a $1.5 million bond. Neither he nor his lawyers have entered a plea of "Guilty" or "Not Guilty."

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