Mum charged with daughter's death poses for bizarre photos with toddler

Mum charged with daughter's death poses for bizarre photos with toddler
Jeanie Ditty with a Photoshopped image of her daughter
PHOTO: Sunny Jo/Internet screengrab

A woman who engaged a photographer to create pictures of her with images of her dead daughter was arrested by police after being accused of murdering her.

Jeanie Ditty, 23, and her boyfriend, Zachary Keefer, were arrested last Thursday (March 24) in North Carolina in the United States, for the murder of the toddler, Macy Grace.

According to Daily Mail, the two-year-old toddler died on December 4 last year, two days after she was taken to hospital "covered in bruises and with life-threatening injuries".

Police were alerted after the bruises were found to be consistent with child abuse symptoms.

Ditty is an active American solider from Fort Bragg, a US Special Operations Force installation. International media reported that Ditty had approached Pennsylvania-based photographer Sunny Jo a month after Grace’s death and asked for images to be created, showing her and her daughter engaged in activities such as reading and taking a walk together.

Jo was unaware that Ditty had allegedly murdered her daughter and obliged to get the job done as he had received similar requests in the past from his other clients.

Daily Mail reported that when Jo asked Ditty how her daughter died, the woman told him that the toddler had choked on a banana when she had a stomachache. After finishing the shoot, Jo decided not to charge the woman as he felt that he was helping a grieving mother.

Jo only found out the truth after Ditty had been arrested.

He said: "People started sharing the story on Facebook. I asked myself: 'How could she do this?'"

"I then felt disgusted by what I had done. People started calling me a mockery and I started to lose sleep over what happened. I look like the bad guy, even though I initially did it to help out a grieving mother," he added.

Despite the negative response he received from the public, the photographer decided to share the pictures after sending all of them to a detective looking into the case.

According to Daily Mail, Ditty was charged with first-degree murder, negligent child abuse and inflicting serious bodily injury in the death of Grace. Keefer, who is not Grace's father, has also been charged with the same counts.

stephluo@sph.com.sg

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