Mom Allegedly Faked Death of 12-Year-Old Son With Autism and Left Him at Motel

A Tennessee woman was arrested for faking the death of her 12-year-old son with autism and leaving him in a motel room.

Vanessa Blanchard, 39, is facing charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and false impression of death, WZTV reports.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by WKRN, Blanchard was approached by a school resource officer from New Providence Middle School in Clarksville on Oct. 29 about her son’s absence. Blanchard allegedly told the officer that her son died from a seizure two days earlier.

“The kids were so upset the teachers were crying on the phone to the parent,” parent Alicia Maslo told WSMV-TV. “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.”

After hearing about the alleged death, the boy’s school helped raised money for his funeral at Sykes Funeral home, WSMV reports. School officials then contacted the funeral home to donate the funds but were told that no funeral arrangements had been made for the boy, WKRN reports.

According to the warrant, the school then reached out to Blanchard, who told them that the boy’s autopsy was still pending.

Police later determined that on Nov. 16 the boy’s school-issued laptop was active at the Vacation Motor Motel. When they arrived there, the boy was found alive and alone inside a motel room, WSMV reports.  

Blanchard told police that she left her son alone in the hotel during the previous two weeks and checked on him daily or every other day, according to WKRN.

“It’s the most disgusting thing that I could have ever heard,” Maslo told WSMV. “I could never imagine my child being gone, let alone lying about it.”

A court appearance for Blanchard is scheduled for Jan. 19, according to the TV station. She currently is being held in the Montgomery County jail on a $5,000 bond, PEOPLE confirms, but an attorney who might speak for her was not immediately identified.


  • If she didn’t want him, there are families who would have taken him in…Autism isn’t something to be ashamed of, but needs to be understood. His “mom” wasn’t a mom but a monster…you NEVER leave a child like that alone or ANY child regardless of whatever alone for days at a time!!!

  • She probably was not getting the help she needed, Most important some compassion for her and the torment it must be to be alone and have an autistic child. Of course I feel for the boy and pray they both get the help they need.

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