North Carolina Mother Charged with Murder Ordered Photos with Dead Daughter
Jeanie Ditty, 23, and boyfriend Zachary Keefer were arrested for the murder of Mary Grace
A soldier from Fort Bragg charged with murdering her 2-year-old daughter commissioned photos of herself at her daughter’s gravesite with a superimposed angelic likeness of her daughter in the background.
The photos were commissioned a month after the killing, PEOPLE learns.
Jeanie Ditty, 23, and her boyfriend Zachary Keefer were arrested last week for the murder of Macy Grace. Both are charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.
Police say the child was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in North Carolina on Dec. 2, 2015 where medical staff discovered bruises all over her body.
“It was life threatening injuries consistent with child abuse,” Fayetteville Police Department officer Antoine Kincade tells PEOPLE.
She was then transported to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where she died two days later. “An investigation was initiated and it was determined after the autopsy the child died of injuries sustained as a result of the mother Jeanie Ditty and her boyfriend,” Kincade says.
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The photos, which were created by Pennsylvania photographer Sunny Jo, show Ditty next to an angelic looking Macy Grace at her daughter’s grave site.
Jo says he reached out to Ditty on Dec. 7, three days after the child’s death, and one month later she asked him to create the pictures.
“She is 23 years old and that is young to lose a child,” he says. “And I just felt for her. This was terrible. This poor girl just lost her daughter. This must be the most heartbreaking thing in the world. So when she asked me to do the photos I said absolutely. I just knew that one way or another I wanted to get the pictures done for what I thought at the time was a grieving mother.”
Ditty allegedly offered to pay the $500 fee for the work but he turned her down.
“She did offer to pay and out of the goodness of my heart I said, ‘No, I can’t let you pay for this,” he says. “I thought to myself, ‘Sunny you can’t charge someone who just went through this.’ She loved them.”
He was later shocked to learn that Ditty was charged with the murder of her daughter.
“I couldn t sleep since this happened,” he says. “The only thing that helps me out is me thinking I didn’t do it for Jeanie I did it for the spirit of Macy. The only thing I was trying to do was help a grieving mother. I just wanted to make someone happy who was going through a tough time.”