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Clearwater mother suffocated 10-month-old baby with pillow, police say

The child died in May. The Clearwater Police Department said the mother has now confessed to killing her son.
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]

CLEARWATER ― A 24-year-old mother intentionally suffocated her 10-month-old baby with a pillow, according to Clearwater police.

The child died in May. But it wasn’t until Friday that police arrested the mother, Victoria Jackson, on a charge of first-degree murder.

The incident took place on May 24 at 410 N. Highland Ave. The mother called 911 and said she had found her son Malachi Jackson “unresponsive” in his crib, according to police.

Paramedics rushed the baby to Morton Plant Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was 10 months and 12 days old.

But the cause of Malachi’s death remained undetermined for months, police said, while they investigated the mother’s version of events.

That changed this week when detectives said they learned that Victoria Jackson told a friend she put a pillow over her baby’s face and used it to asphyxiate her son.

Homicide detectives brought the mother in for questioning on Friday. They said she confessed to suffocating her son.

Police did not say what led the mother to smother her son, or how that information reached detectives.

The mother was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County jail late Friday. Records show she was arrested in Pinellas in 2017 on a charge of fleeing and eluding.