FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A boyfriend and the mother of a now-deceased 2-year-old girl appeared in court on Monday in Fayetteville after they were charged in the death of the little girl last week.
Jeanie Ditty, an active soldier at Fort Bragg, was arrested Thursday. Zachary Keefer, 32, surrendered to authorities on Friday. Both are charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury for the death of Ditty’s daughter, Macy Grace.
In court Monday, District Attorney Billy West said that Ditty will be appointed a public defender.
West said that he was not sure if the pair would be tried in one case together or separately.
West said that the injuries to little Macy were “homicidal.”
“This is a truly innocent victim and we are going to do everything we can to get justice for this child,” West said after the court appearance on Monday.
The case stretches back to Dec. 2, 2015 when police were called to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center about an unresponsive child.
That child, Macy Grace, was covered in bruises and medical staff determined the child had suffered life-threatening injuries consistent with child abuse.
Macy Grace was transferred to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where police said it was determined her injuries were inflicted within 24 hours of the child being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
Macy Grace died from her injuries Dec. 4.
On March 23, the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the child’s death a homicide.
The following day, Fayetteville police obtained warrants were issued charging Jeanie Ditty and Keefer.
The next court appearance in the case will be April 14, when there is a probable cause hearing, West said.