East Point, GA

Nicole Ashley Jackson: mother accused of setting fire to conceal murder of 4-year-old daughter

Lavinia Thompson

East Point Police arrested a woman after they say she confessed to murdering one of her twin daughters, setting the apartment on fire, then leaving without her other child, according to a press release from the East Point Fire Department (EPFD).

Police and fire fighters responded to what they call a “catastrophic” fire at the Brookfield Apartments in East Point, Georgia on Nov. 23, 2022, the release says.

During a Nov. 28 press conference, Fire Chief Corey Thornton said fire fighters began a search and rescue due to “what we were hearing out in the field.” During this phase, fire fighters discovered the body of the deceased child in a bedroom in the upper unit, Chief Thornton said.

Also during the search and rescue phase, Chief Thornton said fire fighters were told there “might be an additional person or victim inside the structure.”

They searched for the victim all night on Wednesday and all day Friday, and when nothing turned up, they brought in a search dog, who pinpointed several locations for “possible discoveries” in the building, Thornton said. He added that they put out a missing persons report when they failed to find additional victims in the unit.

Police Chief Shawn Buchanan stated during the conference that police were told there was another 4-year-old child living in the apartment as well.

“The child was located, however the mother was not,” Chief Buchanan said.

They tracked the mother down the following day, and upon talking to her, she disclosed that the child was already deceased, and she had started the fire to conceal the crime, Chief Buchanan explained.

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Nicole JacksonPhoto byFulton County Sheriff's Office

Nicole Ashley Jackson, 27-years-old, was arrested on Nov. 24, 2022, according to the EPFD press release.

“It was a tragic situation, so we’re going to work with the District Attorney’s office to make sure the mother, Nicole Jackson, never gets out of jail,” Chief Buchanan said.

Deputy District Attorney Lauren McAuley with the Crimes Against Children Unit at the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Jackson has been charged with murder, felony murder, criminal attempt to commit murder, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, and stated there will be additional charges to come.

Chief Thornton said the surviving child is with her grandmother, and that she suffered burns to her hands, arms, and portions of her face. He also confirmed that Jackson left both children in the apartment after setting the fire.

11Alive reports that seven other families were displaced by the fire, and investigators are trying to determine what led up to the child’s murder and Jackson setting the fire.

Ricardo Tolbert, a bystander, rescued the surviving child, who was sent to the hospital, and said he tried to go back for the other girl and their mother, believing they were still in the apartment, according to 11Alive.

“I’m glad I was there and able to save that baby’s life but I wish I could have been there earlier, maybe I could have saved everybody's life,” Tolbert told 11Alive.

11Alive has revealed that Jackson already existed on the radar of the Georgia Department of Human Services dating back to 2019 for “possible neglect concerns.” The case was closed, then reopened when Jackson relocated with her kids to another county in Georgia, 11Alive says.

The department said they didn’t believe the child was in “imminent danger” and closed the case again in June 2022, 11Alive states.

The deceased child’s name has yet to be released by the Fulton Medical Examiner's Office, 11Alive says, and the cause or time of death won’t be known until an autopsy is completed.

Nicole Jackson is being held at the Fulton County Jail without bond, 11Alive states.

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Long time true crime lover and blogger who has spent years reading and studying criminal psychology. I also write mystery fiction books, and have a diploma in journalism.

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