A Michigan woman, who posted pictures online that taunt a dying girl, has apologized for her actions. It's the ugly culmination of a feud that started with a birthday party snub.
Seven-year-old Kathleen Edward is in the final stages of Huntington's disease -- the same disease that killed her mother last year at age 24. A neighbor named Jennifer Petkov marked that death, as well as Kathleen's impending and tragic demise, by posting nasty photos on her Facebook page.
It seems Petkov was angry that her children were not invited to Kathleen's birthday party two years ago. So she tried to invite herself, according to Kathleen's new stepmother, 19-year-old Gabrielle Edward.
“Kathleen’s grandmother had a birthday party, and Jennifer sent a message asking if her kids could come over to play,” Gabrielle Edward said. “(Kathleen’s grandmother) apparently didn’t respond quickly enough; that’s where it all started.”
After Kathleen's mother died last year, Petkov drove their pickup truck -- which had the message "Death Machine" and had a coffin attached to it -- up and down the street, honking the horn.
That was bad enough, but now Kathleen's father, 26-year-old Robert Edward, said he has had enough.
“Just leave us alone; that’s all we want. Don’t make any more comments about our daughter.” He added, “You have to understand how angry we are. The police told us they were shocked that we haven’t gone over there and beat the hell out of her. But there’s more important things to deal with, like our daughter. She’s hanging in there. We have hospice at our home every week, and that’s a lot to deal with on its own.”
Even Petkov has apparently realized her actions are reprehensible, apologizing to the family.
“What I did was ignorant and wrong and I would walk right across this street now and apologize, if it weren’t for the PPO (personal protection order issued against her earlier by a court),” Petkov said. “I’m not proud of myself because this went from a neighborhood dispute to a huge thing.”
Petkov's husband Scott said that his wife’s “brutal honesty” has caused his family to “not get along with a lot of people.” It also could cost him his job -- Scott Petkov was suspended with pay from his job as a forklift repairman over all of this, and could be fired.
"My husband is a good person and I hope he doesn’t lose his job. I hope our family doesn’t lose his job. I’m the bad person,” Jennifer Petkov said Friday. “I feel horrible for what I’ve said and done. That little girl shouldn’t have had to lose her mom like that and she shouldn’t have to lose her life either. I just hope she didn’t see those pictures.”
Police are looking into the incident to see if any laws were broken and if an arrest is warranted.