Mother charged with murder after daughter found dead in fire

EAST POINT, Ga. (AP) — An Atlanta-area woman has been arrested on murder charges after investigators say she killed one of her twin 4-year-old daughters and set fire to her apartment to conceal the death, burning the other twin.

Nicole Jackson, 27, was arrested Friday by East Point police and remains jailed in Fulton County with no bail set. She’s charged with malice murder, felony murder, two counts of first degree cruelty to children and criminal attempt to commit murder.

Jackson waived a preliminary court appearance on Saturday. It’s unclear if Jackson has a lawyer would could speak on her behalf.

During a Monday news conference, East Point Police Chief Shawn Buchanan wouldn’t comment on how the first daughter may have died, but emphasized Jackson has been charged with murder. Buchanan said the mother appeared to have left the apartment complex. Officers found her miles away on Thursday.

“She disclosed to us that one child was already deceased and she started the fire to conceal a crime,” police chief said.

The other daughter suffered what East Point Fire Chief Corey Thornton described as “slight” burns on her hands, arms and parts of her face and is recovering with a grandmother. Bystander Ricardo Tolbert told WXIA-TV he rescued the girl.

Buchanan said the woman is also likely to be charged with arson, while Deputy Fulton County District Attorney Lauren McAuley said prosecutors would oppose bail. McAuley said Jackson is likely to next appear in court in several weeks.

“We’re going to work with the district attorney’s to make sure the mother, Nicole Jackson, never gets out of jail,” Buchanan said.

The building had a total of eight units, seven of which were occupied. Officials told WAGA-TV the building is destroyed after the roof collapsed during the fire.

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