Kathleen Edward Huntington

January 13, 2012 by staff 

Kathleen Edward HuntingtonKathleen Edward Huntington, Kathleen Edward, the girl who made news all over the world after she was taunted on Facebook about two years ago, died late Wednesday night. After a long battle with Huntington’s disease, Kathleen Edward, the 9-year-old girl who was taunted on Facebook in 2010, died at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night, according to Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack.

Kathleen was at her father’s house in Wyandotte when she died. Kathleen was the center of a feud with neighbors, Jennifer and Scott Petkov on Detroit Street, that eventually led to Jennifer Petkov admittingly doctoring photos to depict Edward and her late mother in a skull and cross bones and embraced by the grim reaper.

Laura Edward, Kathleen’s mother, died as a result of Huntington’s disease in 2009.

Kathleen’s grandmother, Rebecca Rose, said she had mixed emotions about Kathleen’s death.

“A part of me is angry as hell because I shouldn’t have to bury my daughter and granddaughter,” Rose said. “I’m happy that she’s not suffering anymore. She’s back with her mother again.”

Rose said she was feeling very alone, but the hundreds of Facebook posts she received Thursday morning were comforting.

“I was sitting there crying and the only thing that comforted me was all the posts on Facebook,” Rose said. “It warms my heart that so many people knew what an amazingly beautiful and perfect child she was.”

Renee Chilson, principal at Southgate’s Fordline Elementary School where Kathleen attended, said grief counselors are on hand, but that officials are taking a hands-off approach to discussing anything publicly.

“We are trying to make this as normal of a day as possible for our students,” she said. “At this point, our main concern is for the family, our students and our staff.”

Kathleen and Rose were part of a story that touched the lives of more than 1 million Trenton Patch readers after an article about Kathleen went viral in 2011.

Emails poured in from people from all over the world from places as far away as Australia and Great Britain and from people across the United States. Thousands of emails, comments and Facebook posts to show Kathleen that the world had her back.

Trenton Patch editor Nate Stemen’s in-box was flooded with emails offering cash and flowers and everything in between.

For a moment it seemed the world stood united for Kathleen and her family.

“I feel for the family,” Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack said. “I would like people to know to keep them in their thoughts and prayers. She was such a sweet little girl.”

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