On August 21, 2017, a beautiful soul, Natalia Morozova, was tragically taken from her son, family, and friends by her estranged ex-husband, Konstantin Morozov. Moments after Natalia left this world, her son was abducted by his father and an Amber Alert was distributed to the public. When Konstantin switched cars multiple times, communities within the local counties pulled together to share vehicle descriptions, license plates, and leads via social media. We believe this helped to end the search quickly. On 08/22/17, Konstantin and their son were found. An officer-involved shooting left Konstantin in critical condition but the boy was rescued safely. Konstantin was later pronounced dead.
(Having a fun day at the aquarium)
Natalia, and Natalia's boyfriend, Jesse, were currently living together as a family. Jesse's family was a huge support to Natalia and her son while Natalia had battled a major divorce and custody case against Konstantin. Konstantin was labelled unstable and abusive and Natalia feared for her and her son's safety. She worked 3+ jobs at a time to support herself and her son, while also paying for legal fees. She represented herself in court, since she could not afford a lawyer and fought for restraining orders against Konstantin. In addition, though she was struggling herself, she would send gifts and money to her mother and sister living in Russia. They were less fortunate than Natalia but Natalia felt it was important to continue supporting her family "back home". Here in the U.S., Jesse and his family were the only "family" Natalia and her son had. They were a huge support to helping Natalia with transportation, child care, love, companionship, and making her feel like she wasnt alone.
Natalia was an avid member of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation and she was also a part of a community network of people that speak Russian on the Central Coast (in California). She was a beautiful person, inside and out, and selfless when it came to taking care of others before herself. She always had a bright smile that could light up the room. She would make homemade remedies and soups, learned while she lived in Russia, for family and friends when they got sick. She would continue to check-up on their well-being and offer any help they may need. She gave without expecting anything in return.
(Natalia and her son)
Where is the child now?
(Happy at the aquarium)
Natalia's son is currently being taken care of by the hands of Child Protective Services. The only family he knows here in the U.S. is Jesse and his family. Natalia has been in the U.S. for 19 years and at 9 years old, her son considers this to be his home. Jesse's family believes that Natalia would want him to be with Jesse.
(Showing off his handsome Taekwondo uniform)
More about Jesse
(Natalia and Jesse)
Jesse has been a passionate student and instructor of Taekwondo here in Santa Maria, California. He instructs both children and adults, working at the Boys and Girls Club in the past, and now teaches at the Atkinson Center. He also has a full-time job during the day to help ends meet and teaches in the evenings. He met Natalia in class while instructing her son in Taekwondo. During their relationship, they helped each other grow, supporting each other, and building a strong and healthy home.
(Jesse instructing a class at Atkinson Community Center.)
Why are we raising money?
(Happy family photo)
Natalia's mother and sister, living in Russia, do not have much, but may either come to the U.S. to be there during her services, or ship her back to Russia to be buried there. We will be using funds to help either pay for their flights and travel, or to send Natalia back to Russia for her services there.
On behalf of Jesse and Jesse's family, we would like to thank everyone that helped contribute to finding Natalia's son safely. Sharing leads, posts, and information on social media, via word of mouth, and searching themselves was not overlooked. Your outpouring of love and support has touched our hearts and will not be forgotten. If we could ask one more thing, please spread the word on this fundraiser so that we can continue to honor Natalia and bring her family to the U.S. to say their "goodbyes".
(Natalia and Jesse)
We will be continuing our efforts with other fundraising events, so please stay tuned for announcements.
(Natalia and her baby boy)
About the Organizers
This GoFundMe has been set up, and will be managed by Vanessa Grossman and Katie Petteruti. We both are friends with Jesse and his family. Vanessa has known Jesse for nearly 20 years (since High School) and Katie has known him for about 16 years. We all live in Santa Maria, California. We elected to assist with the GoFundMe and other fundraisers to allow Jesse and his family to focus on the well-being of Natalia's son, to arrange travel for Natalia's family, and to arrange funeral and burial services for Natalia. Vanessa has successfully utilized GoFundMe in the past and very familiar with social media. Katie is an outgoing person that believes in making things easier for those that need help. We are just here to make things easier on Jesse and his family and give them one less thing to worry about.
Jesse, Natalia's boyfriend, will be the Beneficiary of this GoFundMe fundraiser. A bank account has been setup (see Update #2) to specifically keep track of donations and expenditures that come from this fundraiser, and any other donations that come in.