Police say Victoria Jackson, 24, of Clearwater, Florida, is facing a first-degree murder charge after she confessed to placing a pillow over the face of her 10-month-old son and suffocating him, WFTS-TV reported.
But prior to her confession, Jackson raised over $4,000 on GoFundMe she set up for his funeral expenses, the station said.
What are the details?
Jackson called 911 the night of May 24 to say she found her son Malachi unresponsive in his crib, WFTS said, citing an arrest report, adding that he was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour later.
She then created a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses June 1, the station said.
"I want to give my son the best memorial service I can. He died last Friday night," the description read in part, WFTS noted. "I've never been so heart broken in my life. Please help me take care of my baby one last time."
Then a friend of Jackson's contacted detectives Oct. 30 saying she confessed to intentionally suffocating her son, the station noted, citing an arrest report.
Police conducted a controlled phone call to Jackson during which they said she made incriminating statements, and she was arrested Friday, WFTS said, adding that police said Jackson admitted to suffocating her son with a pillow while he slept.
The fundraising page was taken down Saturday, the station said, adding that GoFundMe said Sunday that refunds will be issued to donors as part of its guarantee fully protecting them.
Friend and donor speaks out
"Tragedy is a time where you need to be the most compassionate and loving and kind, and she totally just took advantage of that," Marah Gonzales — who said she knew Jackson in high school and donated to the fundraiser — told WFTS. "No one knew the real story of what happened other than her and whatever friend that she told."
Gonzales added that "it was just kind of so manipulative to the point she was consistently reaching out and consistently like 'Please donate to this, and this,' but with very very little details," the station noted.
"It's definitely a tragedy, but it's definitely like a sobering thing to understand things like this do happen and it's tragic," Gonzales also told WFTS. "It's how can we as a community get better from it, like how can we grow from it."
Clearwater mom charged with murder in infant's death youtu.be
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