Fla. Mom Who Created GoFundMe for Baby’s Funeral Is Now Accused of Smothering Him With Pillow
The GoFundMe campaign started for Malachi Jackson raised more than $4,000 in donations before it was taken down Saturday
Floridian authorities allege a 24-year-old mother killed her toddler son in late May, and then, days later, launched a GoFundMe campaign, raising thousands of dollars for the 10-month-old’s funeral.
For months, Victoria Jackson was not considered a suspect in her son Malachi’s death, but she is now charged with first-degree murder, accused of using a pillow to smother him to death on May 24.
Jackson, who lives in Clearwater, allegedly recently confided in an old friend that she killed Malachi, according to an arrest report obtained by PEOPLE.
That friend then reached out to investigators on October 30, and a controlled phone call was placed to Jackson.
The arrest report indicates Jackson made incriminating statements during that call, and was arrested Friday.
The GoFundMe campaign she started for Malachi, which raised more than $4,000 in donations, was taken down Saturday.
The site has already started issuing refunds to those who donated to the campaign.
According to police, Jackson called 911 on the evening of May 24, telling dispatchers she found Malachi in his crib, unresponsive.
Emergency responders rushed Malachi to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead a little more than an hour after that initial call to police.
Jackson allegedly created the GoFundMe campaign on June 1.
“I want to give my son the best memorial service I can,” she wrote on the site. “He died last Friday night. I’ve never been so heart broken in my life. Please help me take care of my baby one last time.”
The arrest report alleges Jackson intentionally suffocated the boy with a pillow as he slept.
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Marah Gonzales spoke to WTXL and said she knew Jackson in high school. She contributed to the fundraiser.
“Tragedy is a time where you need to be the most compassionate and loving and kind and she totally just took advantage of that,” Gonzales told the station. “No one knew the real story of what happened other than her and whatever friend that she told.”
She added: “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.”
It was unclear Wednesday if Jackson had appeared before a judge to enter a plea to the charge she faces.
Information about her attorney was also not available at press time.
Jackson remains in custody on an unspecified amount of bail.