EAST POINT, Ga. (TCD) -- A 27-year-old woman was arrested after she allegedly killed her 4-year-old daughter, lit her apartment on fire, and left while the child’s twin was still alive inside.
At a press conference Monday, Nov. 28, East Point Fire Chief Cory Thornton shared details about the deadly fire, which broke out the day before Thanksgiving. On Nov. 23, East Point Fire Department officials went to the Polaris East Point Apartments and noticed heavy smoke emanating from the building. They began fighting the fire and called for backup from nearby areas.
Thornton said the team began to conduct a search and rescue mission and found a 4-year-old deceased in a bedroom. Firefighters learned there might have been an additional victim, so they continued looking but couldn’t find another person. The Georgia State Fire Marshal sent in a dog to assist, but the search came up empty again.
East Point officials put out a missing person alert for another child and learned that she was alive. She was picked up and is reportedly recovering with her grandmother. The 4-year-old girl, who is the twin sister of the victim, suffered burns to her hand, face, and other parts of her body.
East Point Police Chief Shawn Buchanan said although the little girl was found alive, the children’s mother remained missing. She was eventually located and allegedly told police "one of the children was deceased and she started the fire to conceal the crime."
Nicole Jackson, the mother, was arrested and charged with malice murder, felony murder, criminal attempt to commit a felony, and two counts of cruelty to children.
According to WAGA-TV, a neighbor rescued the surviving girl when he saw the fire. Ricardo Tolbert, who reportedly goes by the name Uncle Top, said, "I pulled the baby out and when the fresh air hit her, her eyes opened, and she wrapped around my neck."
Thornton reportedly said he suspected Jackson used an accelerant, which caused the fire to spread so quickly.