Woman Kept GoFundMe Money Meant for Murder Victim's Family: Police

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A woman is being accused of starting a GoFundMe page for a murder victim’s family, then keeping the money for herself.

D.C. police arrested Arlene Petty, of Capital Heights, Md., on Friday. The 30-year-old has been charged with First Degree Fraud.

Petty raised money for the family of Stephanie Goodloe, but intentionally withheld money, detectives with the department’s Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit said.

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Goodloe was killed in June 2016 at her home on Kentucky Avenue in Southeast, D.C. Police believe her ex-boyfriend Donald Hairston broke into her home and killed her. He has been charged with First Degree Murder.

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Goodloe had applied for a restraining order to keep Hairston away. The two were due in court to review the request two days after she was murdered.

The murder left her daughter motherless.

D.C. detectives said the GoFundMe Petty said up to provide relief for Goodloe’s family collected money from June 30, 2016 through March 29.

GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne sent WUSA9 the following statement about Petty's alleged misuse of the fundraising site: 

“Campaigns with misuse make up less than one tenth of one percent of all campaigns. With that said, there are instances where misuse occurs. It is important to remember that our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means users are fully protected and we guarantee the money goes to right place. We’ll work with the local law enforcement to ensure the family receives all of the money raised on their behalf.”

Whithorne added GoFundMe also has a dedicated team that works around the clock to monitor suspicious behavior.

If someone who donated to this campaign would like additional information on GoFundMe's safety measures, please visit www.gofundme.com/safety.

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