Kathleen Edward, a 7-year-old Trenton, Mich. Girl, is battling Huntington’s disease. It’s the same terminal genetic brain disorder that took her mother, Laura Edward, from her last year. As if the strain of the disease and the loss of her mother isn’t enough, Kathleen has been the victim of malicious taunting and harassment from her adult neighbors, Jennifer and Scott Petkov.
Among the taunting, the most disturbing include the couple posting images on Facebook of Kathleen’s mother in the arms of the Grim Reaper, Facebook images of Kathleen above crossbones, and driving past Kathleen’s home honking the horn from their “death decorated” truck containing a coffin in the back. Some experts are calling this the worst case of cyber-bullying they’ve ever seen.
The media latched on to the story of this innocent frail child being callously and relentlessly harassed. Jennifer was asked by reporters why she had posted the images and such. Her response was just as unfeeling as her actions: “Personal satisfaction” and because it upset the child’s grandmother. Apparently, there is a longstanding feud between the couple and Kathleen’s grandmother. Some news sources are quoting the Edward family saying the feud was about a late response to a birthday party. Other sources claim the feud involved Kathleen’s stepmother. Some just site an unknown feud. While it remains unclear what started the feud, one thing is clear, whatever the feud is or isn’t about, this innocent child shouldn’t be subjected to such.
Media attention to the story has spurred a worldwide response, as people are posting Twitter, YouTube, Facebook pages of their own and attacking Jennifer Petkov with the same callousness. The Petkov’s have also claimed to have received death threats and damage to their home from people “egging” it.
Now that the Petkov’s are victim to attack, they’ve somewhat apologized to the Edward family via The Detroit News by saying their actions were ignorant. Meanwhile, the Edward family says they just want to be left alone to deal with more pressing issues, like Kathleen’s health and medical issues.