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Tweeting Mom Blameless in Tot's Death, Police Say

3373720570_efe457cd6d_mDear Jerks on the Internet Who Insist on Blaming A Mom for Her Child’s Death,

Shut up. The police investigation into this tragedy has found Shellie Ross blameless in her two-year-old’s accidental drowning earlier this week.

“Her tweeting had nothing to do with what happened with regard to her son,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Homicide Agent Joe Martin. “It was an accident.”

Ross’ two-year-old fell in the pool and drowned on Monday . According to police, Ross was working in her chicken coop with her two children, aged 11 and 2. She appears to have been tweeting about the chickens up until one minute before the 911 call was made, though it’s not clear how accurate Twitter’s timestamps on messages are.

What was going on there? Ross asked her older child to take the younger one, turn off a loose hose in the yard, and go inside. She finished up with the chicken coop and went inside. The toddler was not in the house, so she went back out to look for him. Seeing him at the bottom of the pool, she dove in to rescue him.

Ross performed CPR on the boy while her older son called 911. Rescuers arrived minutes later and took over CPR, continuing their efforts to revive him for about 20 minutes before he was declared dead at the hospital.

While waiting at the hospital before learning her son had died, Ross made her desperate tweet, “Please pray like never before, my two-year-old fell in the pool.”

When that tweet first appeared, Ross received the prayers and support she was looking for from friends, family and many strangers. A few people questioned her story. Not a crazy thing to do, since there have been heart-tugging hoaxes on the internet before. Sadly, this story was true.

Instead of apologizing and sympathizing, Madison McGraw and a few others took the low road and tried to blame Ross for her son’s death, saying her tweets cost the boy his life.

McGraw appears to be trying to save face by blaming the mom in this story instead of admitting she was wrong about it being a hoax. Hot tip, honey: your face is not being saved. In fact, your name is in danger of becoming synonymous with being a jerk on the Internet. As in, “I can’t believe you just said that. Who are you, Madison McGraw?”

Get over yourself. While you were playing detective for no better reason than to vindictively rub salt in the wounds of a grieving stranger, the real detectives have done their job. This was an accident. Try as we might to prevent them, tragic accidents do happen.

Photo: David Winer

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