A photographer who created "ghost" photos of a dead little girl and her mother says he believes he was manipulated by the mom, who is now charged with killing her 2-year-old daughter.
"She used my work to make people think that she's innocent, and that's just wrong," Sunny Jo told IE.
See the graveside images:
Jeanie Ditty, 23, a soldier from Fort Bragg in North Carolina, was arrested last week, along with her boyfriend, Zachary Keefer. Both were charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse, police said.
Jo contacted Ditty after learning of the child's death, he said. He forfeited his usual fee and created images of Ditty with little Macy Grace, whose angelic, ghost-like photo was superimposed over shots of the mother.
Ditty was very specific about what she wanted, Jo said.
"She told me her daughter's favorite book was The Giving Tree. She said, "I want me holding the book reading it to my daughter, Macy, who passed away and I want to be looking down at her while I'm reading the book,'" Jo recounted.
The toddler was taken to a hospital in December by her mom, who said the child had choked while eating a banana, authorities said. But medical staff found bruises over most of her body, police said.
Macy was removed from life support two days later and an autopsy determined she had died from serious bodily injuries, police said.
Ditty and Keefer are being held without bail. They have not yet entered pleas.