Jennifer Faith: GoFundMe to return $60K raised for woman who helped ex 'destroy evidence' after killing husband
Jennifer Faith previously told police that she was 'devastated' by her husband's death, who was her 'best friend'
A few months ago, a visibly devastated Jennifer Faith told police how she wanted justice for her husband - American Airlines executive James Faith, who was killed in an ambush while walking his dog on October 9, 2020. In her testimony to the police, she vividly described how she was attacked by her husband's killer, who beat her up and taped her hands together.
In January 2020, police arrested Darrin Ruben Lopez for the murder, and who happened to be an ex-boyfriend of Jennifer from her school and college days. However, a search at his home unveiled a shocking fact - Jennifer was still in touch with him. Following the clues, police ultimately arrested Jennifer on February 24, 2021, on the charge of obstruction of justice.
Who is Jennifer Faith?
Jennifer is the 48-year-old widow of Faith, an executive of American Airlines who was gunned down outside the couple's home in Dallas last year. On October 9, 2020, the morning after the couple celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary, they went out for a walk with their dog around 7:30 am. A little ahead of their home, they were attacked by a masked man from behind. The assailant shot at James' head several times until he died. He then reportedly knocked Jennifer down to the ground as she attempted to run away. He tried to bind her hands with duct tape and stole her jewelry, before fleeing the scene in a black pickup truck.
This was the account given by Jennifer to the police about the events of the fateful day. She added that she did not know how the shooter looked since he was masked. "It's been horrible, devastating. I teeter between being heartbroken and completely devastated. Every day has been awful," she said at that time, while speaking to Fox4. She even added that James was her best friend, and the best father and husband 'anyone could ask for'.
Soon afterward, 48-year-old Darrin Ruben Lopez was arrested; he resided 700 miles away in Tennesse. It was found then that Lopez and Jennifer used to date back in college and high school. After finding the murder weapon and other evidence from his home, police pinned the blame on Lopez. However, there was another object at his house that raised suspicion - a flat-screen Samsung TV that was shipped to Lopez from Jennifer.
As police searched Jennifer's phone, they found she was still in touch with Lopez and there were over 14,000 text messages exchanged between the duo. On days, there were even hundreds of messages between them, reported Dallas News.
In fact, she had admitted to a friend that she had a 'full-blown emotional affair' with Lopez, with a five-year plan of how they would be together. She later told the friend that she had ended the affair because it 'hurt' her husband.
How did Jennifer help Darrin Lopez destroy evidence?
“Even as she publicly claimed she was ‘desperate for answers’ regarding her husband’s murder, Jennifer Faith was communicating with the alleged killer, actively urging him to destroy evidence and attempting to delete incriminating communications from her phone," US Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement, reports Advocate Oak Cliff.
Jennifer used to coach Lopez on how to respond to potential police questioning, without incriminating himself. She told him to pretend to be her old friend, who was going through a divorce and is a single father. "We talk every night because I am helping/giving support with the girls since you have sole custody. If it ever comes to it, I’ll answer the same way. Just so you and I have the same explanations," she reportedly schooled him on phone. She also regularly updated him about her efforts to collect James Faith's life insurance policy.
She additionally instructed Lopez to remove the 'T' sticker from the back window of his pickup truck, to evade the investigators. The day before meeting with FBI investigators, Jennifer told Lopez that she will factory reset her phone and asked him not to text that day.
Jennifer was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Why is GoFundMe refunding her money?
A day after James Faith's death, a fundraiser was organized on GoFundMe for Jennifer to help her with funeral and memorial expenses. The fundraiser was started by a person named Jennifer Svelan, and it raised $59,723 within a short span of time. After the news of Jennifer's arrest surfaced, GoFundMe removed the fundraiser and confirmed that their team is currently investigating and assisting law enforcement.
A spokesperson from GoFundMe stated, "Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors are fully protected."
"If any donor would like to request a refund in the meantime, we will process it for them," they added.