7 On Your Side: Mom desperate to receive raised funds after son's sudden death

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- A Brooklyn mom whose 26-year-old son died suddenly is now desperate to receive the GoFundMe money raised for his funeral.

Gloria Froelich didn't have the cash to give her oldest son James a proper burial, so her friend of a decade stepped forward and helped raise $5,000 in just a few weeks. But when that money disappeared, her anger turned to despair, and she turned to 7 On Your Side.

"He was my teddy bear, my huggy bear," she said. "He used to walk into a room, and it would light up. His smile was contagious."

This spring, after not hearing from him for a few days, she called the police to check on him. He had died suddenly of natural causes.

"I wanted to see him, but they wouldn't let me see him," she said. "I said, what am I going to do? I don't have the money to bury him."

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The day he died, Gloria's friend started a GoFundMe campaign titled "Help put James to rest." And within two weeks, 83 donations came in topping $5,000. GoFundMe said it transferred all the money to the page initiator four months ago in early May, but Gloria still hasn't received a dime.

"That hurts, knowing your son's in the morgue and not be able to help him, to get him out," she said.

Now, she says that friend is ghosting her and refusing her calls. So she contacted 7 On Your Side.

We contacted both GoFundMe, who suggested Gloria file a police report. Then we got in touch with Gloria's friend. And just days later, all $5,000 was moved into Gloria's account.

"You get things done," she said. "You actually get to the nitty gritty, your team is fantastic, I love them, and I love you too...Thank you, thank you from here to eternity. My son I know is thanking you also."

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GoFundMe told us it never knew there was a problem until we reached out. They contacted Gloria's friend immediately, imploring her to transfer the money. If she didn't, GoFundme would've refunded all deposits.

As for the friend, she told us she was in the hospital and had problems with her bank account, preventing her from getting Gloria the money.

Gloria tells us James will be finally laid to rest in the next week.


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