HOUSTON Each page of the book was supposed to be a preview of a life to come.
Mommy s princess, explained Marissa Martinez as she flipped through the pages.
But last month, the entries in the baby book suddenly ended, with the discovery that still haunts Martinez and her husband.
They couldn t find a heartbeat, recalled Martinez. Then they sent me for an ultrasound and couldn t find it there.
Days later, Alyssa Preciado was delivered stillborn.
But through the family s darkness, came a light.
A fellow soldier who served with Martinez s husband in Afghanistan offered to help raise money for Baby Alyssa s headstone.
I went to war with the guy, explained Felix Preciado. And I was thinking, he s probably helping me out again.
Within days, more than 40 people contributed on the GoFundMe website.
In all, $1,825 was raised.
But when the grieving parents asked their friend to send them the money, they say the excuses began.
I don t have a definitive answer, the friend explained via text message to Preciado. But I m working on it (getting the money).
That was a month ago.The parents hadn t heard from him since.
He used my baby girl, feared Martinez.
The KHOU 11 News I-Team asked GoFundMe about the money given to the family.
In a statement, the company said, Unfortunately, we are not able to give out account information to anyone who is not the page creator...With hundreds of thousands of campaigns, it's not feasible for GoFundMe to investigate the claims stated by each campaign organizer.
It s a lack of accountability that troubles KHOU 11 News Legal Analyst Gerald Treece.
If Ii give money to one of these sites thinking it's going to go to a crippled child or a wounded veteran, there's no accountability, Treece said. And the website holder is taking a disclaimer position saying we don't know anything about anything.
With her daughter s grave still unmarked, Martinez feared what started as a blessing, was really something else.
I thought he was helping us out, said Martinez. And in the end, he just ended up betraying us.
The I-Team reached the page s creator, an Iowa resident, by phone.He said the reason the family hadn t received the money was that he was having trouble transferring the funds.
He went on to explain the reason he stop answering the family s calls and texts was because he lives a busy life.
But shortly after the I-Team talked to the man, he called Martinez and her husband and gave them access to the money raised for Alyssa s headstone.