CBS News [via Jezebel] reports that a 37-year-old Bronx woman, Noel Alba, has appeared before a federal judge over charges that she sought to benefit from the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School by posing as a relative to one of the young victims. Using her Facebook page to gather donations, Alba allegedly told visitors she was collecting the money to help her brother and other victims’ families’. She went so far to say that she actually went into the school after the shooting to identify her niece’s body. So ugly.
The Facebook message (“Victorian Glam Fairies” is the name she went by) read in part:
We like to thank everyone for their prayers. We ask that you not just continue to pray for us, but for the families that just lost their kid… [sic]
She was caught after one prospective donor asked for more info. That eventually led to media attention, which ultimately led to attention from the FBI. She says she was hacked.
The massacre, which left 20 children and six adults dead, happened two weeks ago today. Since then, people have donated massive amounts of dolls, flowers, and other items. The town, inundated and still in the process of sorting through what it has received, has now asked people to stop.
USA Today has a list of guidelines that the town has issued for anyone who would still like to help. Among the requests: no perishable items and contact the appropriate organization before making a donation to be sure that it can be accepted. The United Way of Western Connecticut has also been collecting funds — $3.5 million thus far — which will be handed off to a charity for distribution.
The items that have been collected thus far are being gathered for inclusion in a permanent memorial in honor of the victims.