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Clearwater mother of suffocated baby showed signs of mental health issues

She wrote on Twitter: “I already feel the downward spiral starting.”

More details emerged Saturday in the case of a 24-year-old Clearwater woman accused of smothering her 10-month-old son with a pillow.

Clearwater police arrested Victoria Grace Jackson on Friday afternoon on a charge of first-degree murder and booked her into the Pinellas County jail. They initially responded to Jackson’s home the night of May 24 after she called 911 to report that her son, Malachi, was unresponsive in his crib. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead after staff could not resuscitate him.

Victoria Jackson, 24, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of her 10-month-old son, according to Clearwater police. This photo was taken after a 2017 arrest in Pinellas County. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

When investigators arrived at Jackson’s home, they didn’t find any physical evidence that contradicted the mother’s story, said Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw. But police continued to investigate.

A break came Wednesday when investigators learned Jackson had recently told a friend she killed her son, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Pinellas County Circuit Court. During a phone call recorded by police, Jackson incriminated herself in her son’s death, the affidavit said, though it did not identify who Jackson was talking to at the time.

After police arrested Jackson, she admitted during an interview at the police department that she killed her son as he slept, the affidavit said. On her arrest paperwork, police wrote that Jackson showed indications she may be suffering from mental health issues and that she made suicidal statements after confessing.

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On Twitter, both before and after her son’s death, Jackson commented about her moods and in some messages appeared to indicate she was struggling. On May 10, two weeks before Malachi’s death, she tweeted, “I already feel the downward spiral starting.” Followed by: “I honestly don’t even know what to do when I get like this. It usually ends pretty badly even if I see it coming from 100 miles away.”

Five days later, she posted about whether she’d ever be happy. After another five days, she tweeted that she was the happiest she’d ever been.

In a tweet timestamped hours before Malachi’s death, Jackson wrote, “I don’t deserve him.” She didn’t say whether she was referring to her son.

The day after his death, on May 25, she tweeted she had “nothing left to live for.”

In the following days, she tweeted about only wanting to cry, never missing someone so much and finding the strength from god to not mess up again.

After the death, a GoFundMe page was created online under the name of Jackson’s son. The page, which was taken down but can be viewed through a cached version of the website, raised $4,393 of a $5,000 goal to help pay for Malachi’s memorial services.

“I want to give my son the best memorial service I can,” the description said. “He died last Friday night. We don’t know what the cause is yet, I woke up and he wasn’t breathing and had bloody foam coming from his nose. I’ve never been so heart broken in my life. Please help me take care of my baby one last time.