Funeral Costs

Couple Accused of Killing Toddler Used GoFundMe to Profit Off Her Death

Jeanie Ditty and Zachary Keefer

This is pretty much the lowest of the low as far as shady GoFundMe use goes. That’s really all that can be said.

The Fayetteville Observer reports:

A soldier and her boyfriend charged in the death of her 2-year-old created a GoFundMe account to pay for the toddler’s funeral even though money was available, according to friends and family.

Family members say the account received $6,000 in donations before it was removed from the GoFundMe website.

Jeanie Ditty, 23, and her boyfriend, Zachary Earl Keefer, 32, are charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury in the death of Macy Grace Ditty, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

A GoFundMe started by Keefer stated Mary Grace suffocated in her sleep, and was widely spread across social media including a popular local radio station page. The station’s program manager stated that his station often shares GoFundMe pages, giving folks the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t running a scam on people’s emotions.

Editor’s note: DO NOT DO THIS. Anyone can start a GoFundMe account for any reason — valid or not — without zero verification whatsoever. In the past, scammers have scoured news stories for photos of accident victims and started fundraisers claiming to be raising money for the family. BE SKEPTICAL.

According to a family member, who is also a veteran, a life insurance benefit covers the spouses and dependent children of service members, meaning there was no reason for the fundraiser.

Note this next part:

[Jeanie Ditty’s cousin Tiffany] Wardy said Jeanie Ditty’s comments made her suspicious. She and others reported their concerns to GoFundMe, according to Goodwin. The page’s link is now broken, and the fundraiser appears to have been removed from the website.

Smith, Jeanie Ditty’s aunt, said more than $6,000 had been donated to the campaign before it was taken down.

GoFundMe media director Kelsea Little confirmed that the campaign existed at one time. She said the organizer, Keefer, took it down.

She declined to say whether GoFundMe received complaints about the campaign before it was taken down, how much money was collected or where that money went.

Officer Antoine Kincade, a spokesman for the Police Department, said the department is not investigating the GoFundMe account because it was not reported to police and is no longer active.

What’s the takeaway, children? Report any suspected fraudulent fundraisers to the police!

Here’s hoping little Macy Grace gets the justice she deserves.