The mother of slain 8-year-old Maddy Middleton doesn't blame the mother of alleged killer Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, 15. In fact, she says she's consoling her friend while dealing with the unimaginable loss of her daughter. Laura Jordan, Maddy's mom, says she found Reggie Factor on her knees at a memorial for Maddy, sobbing uncontrollably, cursing her son, and crying to God. Jordan knelt beside Factor, hugged her, and told her, "I love you, I don't blame you…It's not your fault," she tells the San Francisco Chronicle. "We both lost our children that day. That's the tragic truth." The community is continuing to mourn Maddy, found in a dumpster in Santa Cruz. Her mom remembers her as a small but feisty girl with the energy of "3½ kids in one." She was always social, her mom says.
She was also an animal lover who had a soft spot for wolves. So on Friday, Jordan howled at the blue moon. She wasn't alone: howling could be heard across Santa Cruz as #HowlForMaddy spread online. Meanwhile, donations have been flowing to two GoFundMe pages set up for the family. Jordan hopes to donate to causes related to mental health and childhood sexual abuse, or even start her own charity. "My daughter was sacrificed, but she didn’t die in vain," Jordan says. "So much good is coming from her death." KRON reports Gonzalez, who next appears in court Sept. 21, may be linked to a November shooting threat at Santa Cruz High School, where he was a sophomore. A person claiming responsibility told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he had "crippling anxiety"—a phrase that recently appeared on Gonzalez's now-deleted Instagram account. (Click for more on the case.)