Mom charged with killing baby asks for donations on Facebook

A Florida mother accused of killing her baby asked her Facebook friends to help pay for the funeral.


Jordan Valinsky

Internet Culture

Published Feb 6, 2013   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 1:53 am CDT

A Florida mother accused of fatally shaking her baby apparently asked her friends and family on Facebook to pay for the child’s funeral.

On Jan. 27, 21-year-old Brittany Arnett allegedly slammed her baby son Hadley’s face into a swing at her boyfriend’s grandfather’s home near Tampa, Fla. According to WTSP-TV, authorities described a brutal and very violent period of shaking, hitting, and bashing his face in an effort to get him to stop crying.

Arnett put Hadley to sleep that night and discovered early the next morning he wasn’t breathing. After rushing him to the hospital, doctors failed to resuscitate him and he died. Four days later, investigators noticed bruise marks on Hadley’s rib cage and bite marks on his thigh, prompting them into investigate Arnett.

Three days after Hadley died, Arnett shared her grief on Facebook. She solicited donations from friends and family, and even asked them to borrow a printer and paper so she could create a program for her son’s funeral. She also posted a note describing the loss of Hadley—without describing his injuries:

Arnett also left the incident out of several other notes in an attempt to garner consolation and pity from her friends. In a post on Jan. 30, she wrote “Hadley is at the funeral home :) getting made up pretty :) he is going to look amazing.”

Friends continued to post compassioned-filled messages on Arnett’s wall until an arrest affidavit revealed she had admitted to causing the baby’s death. Since then, the comments on her Facebook page have turned ugly. A friend called her  “scum” and a “heartless pig” for her actions.

Medical examiners determined that Hadley died from a separated spine, brain hemorrhaging, broken ribs, and lacerations in his mouth. Arnett was charged with first degree murder Monday and is staying in a Citrus County Detention Facility.

Hadley’s funeral service took place Monday night.

Photo via Brittany Arnett/Facebook

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*First Published: Feb 6, 2013, 4:43 pm CST