CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A Clarksville woman is facing charges after claiming that her autistic child was dead.
Alicia Maslo was thrilled her son made a new friend. “It’s really hard for children with special needs to not only make friends, but keep friends,” she explained. “So, it’s really something when they can connect with somebody on a deeper level.”
An SRO at Providence Middle School called Vanessa Blanchard on Oct. 29, 2021, to inquire why her 12-year-old child had been absent from school. Blanchard told the SRO that her autistic child had died after having a seizure two days before.
“The kids were so upset the teachers were crying on the phone to the parent,” Maslo said. “My son came home bawling his eyes out, hugging me, talking about how he couldn’t believe he was gone. He was like, ‘I just saw him, I don’t understand why he’s gone.”
The school raised money and tried to help to pay for the child’s funeral at Sykes Funeral Home. The school contacted the funeral home to donate the funds and were told it did not have any funeral arrangements for the child.
The school contacted Blanchard again, who told them the child was at the hospital awaiting an autopsy.
On Nov. 16, the child’s school-issued laptop was active at the Vacation Motor Motel. A sheriff’s deputy went to the motel and saw the child in the room.
Blanchard told deputies that she had left the 12-year-old alone in the motel room by himself over the past two weeks and checking on him whenever she could, which was daily or every-other-day.
In December, Maslo and her son walked into a GameStop and though they saw a ghost. “We walked in the door and just stood stalk still,” she recalled. “Standing right there was his friend, who, you know, was months dead.”
Deputies charged Blanchard with contributing to the delinquency of a child and false impression of death. She was arrested on Wednesday. She is set to appear in Montgomery County General Sessions Court on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
“It’s the most disgusting thing that I could have ever heard,” Maslo said. “I could never imagine my child being gone, let alone lying about it.”
Blanchard plead guilty to her charges and was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days of probation. She will not serve jail time unless she violates these terms.