GoFundMe money raised for baby's funeral expenses missing

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter

DETROIT - Money raised in a GoFundMe account for a mother who lost her baby on Christmas morning was stolen by a family friend, according to the mother.

Emily Prowell was 5 months old when her mother, Mechelle Prowell, found her unresponsive after a Christmas morning nap.

"I knew it was something because her limbs just fell in my arms," Prowell said.

Doctors told her that Emily died of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Shortly afterward, Emily’s godmother started a GoFundMe account for funeral expenses and raised $2,755. But Prowell never got the money.

"You can’t just take something that didn’t belong to you in the first place,” Prowell said. "My grandmother, my friends, cousins, even perfect strangers and my dad’s boss donated to this campaign."

Local 4 reached the godmother, who said she was going to give Prowell the money but the account was frozen.

In an email to Prowell, GoFundMe confirmed that the funds were sent directly to the godmother. There was a withdrawal and the account is empty.

The godmother said Prowell and the family only want extra spending money and don’t care about a funeral.

A memorial is set for Tuesday.

There is an active police investigation and the detective said there could be charges if the money was raised under false pretenses.

When Prowell filed her police report at the 7th precinct, police contacted the community and raised enough money to pay the balance of the bill at the funeral home.

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