UPDATED: Kathleen Edward, 9, of Trenton—Who Had Been Taunted on Facebook—Dies

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, on Detroit Street, that eventually led .

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."

in court on alleged personal protection order violations. The families have a court date coming up that could finally settle a feud that has been going on for more than four years.

The Petkovs and Edwards have a court date scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 23 in front of Judge Lita Popke at the Coleman Young Municipal Building in Detroit.

A memorial for Kathleen Edward will be held at Michigan Memorial Funeral Home in Flat Rock according to Rose.

She added Kathleen will be buried next to her mother at Mount Hope Memorial Gardens in Livonia.

"I really want everyone to know how much I appreciate all the condolences and the kind words and for remembering her beautiful smile," Rose said.

People wishing to offer condolences should reach Rebecca Rose via email at roserebecca23@yahoo.com.

Additional information about Huntington's disease including early-onset cases like Kathleen's can be found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's website.

This story was updated at 10:28 a.m. Thursday with quotes from Rebecca Rose. This story also was updated at 12:36 p.m. Thursday with information from Fordline Elementary School. Wyandotte Patch Editor Jason Alley also contributed to this story. An additional update was made at 4:52 p.m. with quotes from Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack.

Danny Gibson January 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I must apologize ahead of time for any improper bashing. However, it seems that their is a lot of rude and wrongful bashing going on in this forum. I am new to this story. But I have a son thats three years old that was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago, so I guess in a way I can sympathize with Kathleen's family. And before anyone goes and post about how this was wrong or that was wrong, or this person or that person was wrong. Most of these comments are ignorant themselves. In no defense for the neighbors. They did not put this beautiful little girl in the ground because of their crude behavior, yes it was 100% wrong what they did. But it's not their fault. She had a terminal illness that was going to inevitably (as sad as it is to say), take her life. Were they wrong for what they did, well that's a question that's self explanatory. But it's not doing anyone any good to point a finger. That's all I have to say; other than I regretably offer my condolences to the mourning family of Kathleen. You are all very strong people. I don't know what I would do if my son passed away at such a vital age. I wish you all the best, and hope for better days to come.
Susan January 13, 2012 at 01:17 PM
First and foremost, I'm sending my most sincere condolences to Kathleen Edward's family, her friends, and all involved. They will all be in my thoughts and prayers. To Jennifer and Scott Petkov, including people out there like them or likewise, I strongly believe, "What comes around goes back around 10 times worse for doing bad thing's and 10 times better for doing good thing's.." Some people believe it's a coincidence something good or bad happens towards someone that did something good or bad. I stand firm what I believe, because I've witnessed too many times what happens to people shortly or later on after they do some kind of acts of goodness towards someone or others or vice versa. For Jennifer and Scott Petkov, I just about imagine they've been living a nightmare day and night the very moment this got so much attention from all around. They most likely get ridiculed every time when they're out in public somewhere. For their own daughter, it wouldn't surprise me if she gets taunted in school or will in the near future.
Pam J January 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Well, unfortunately, I doubt that the story about this little girl with that horrible disease would have made the news if not for the Facebook issue. This story should have been just about Kathleen passing away. Instead they printed the information about the Facebook problems, and people are going to jump on that. Which, I think, is a good thing because it shows the ugly side of Facebook. If enough people become involved, maybe the ugly part can be minimized in the future. But it is incredibly sad that a nine-year-old died, not that long after her mother died. But don't blame the people who are talking about Facebook, because the article made it a main topic.
Cathy Klindt-Cobb January 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Yes agree Irene, but what gets me is this perfect beautiful little girl suffered sooo much in her life, at such a young age and if most adults would just know what she knew and spread threw her face and smile, it would be priceless. I hate a bully, that is why people like me are out their who would gladly tie that person up in the street and allow ev1 to stone them to a bloody pulp! I care about people and their feelings, and once u have been bullied and overcome it, it gives you power to protect those who need it. Prayers out to this wonderful little angels family and friends and to the world who didn't get a chance to know her special qualitys that i know would have been maricales! sorry for spellin:)
cheryl macari January 13, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Irene Hall January 13, 2012 at 05:41 PM
AMEN, Cheryl!!!!! I wish people would get the facts straight before they posted!!!!
Marion January 13, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Rest In Peace now Kathleen <3
Michelle Wolfson January 13, 2012 at 06:46 PM
My heart really goes out to this family. I am a Patch columnist from all the way in New Jersey and saw this story and had to post. I think the point is getting completely LOST in some of these replies. I know it has been said before, and in all honesty, is TOTALLY irrelevant, but the little girl did NOT have a Facebook page. Nowhere does it even insinuate that she did. The neighbor, Jennifer Petkov, posted this brutal harassment on HER Facebook page. it was simply seen by others who KNEW Kathleen including her Grandmother. I think it is important that we read clearly and get all the facts possible before flying off the handle. As I said, even if she had a Facebook, which right or wrong, many 9 and 10 year olds do- what Ms. Petkov did was simply cruel, inhumane, and undeserved. I personally think she deserves all of the negative attention that she has gotten from this incident. I do feel bad for Ms. Petkov's daughter however, who not only has had to live with the fallout of her mother's thoughtless actions (including calls and threats to her home and her (now closed) Facebook page- but also because she obviously has despicable role models as parents. If this is what she has to look up to in life, Heaven help her!
Marie Eloise Phillips January 13, 2012 at 07:18 PM
This is tragic. I saw the story to my yahoo homepage and watched the video. No adult can stoop as low as to bully a child who lost their mom to the same diesease that they have. I didn't know Kathleen or her family but no one should have to go through that. I'm just glad that she is no longer suffering and she is at peace with her mom. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.
terri rhyne January 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
as a father of two girl's and two granddaughter's i can't even imagine the torment the family went through, our prayers are with the family with our broken heart's we can only say bless the child and mother
terri rhyne January 13, 2012 at 08:39 PM
it seem's like what ever someone does a horrible act there is a excuse why they done it but there is NO EXCUSE FOR WHAT MS PETKOV HAS DONE you are suppose to forgive the sin's of other's but it will be extremely hard to do
K January 13, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I've only read some of these comments and I know I don't have any business of running my mouth, but for those of you, I guess KK, whoever that is, so what she had a facebook page. I consider myself a decent mom and my daughter has a page. Someone said it was the grandmother's page, not that it matters, but why would an adult bully a little girl who not only lost her mother from this deadly disease, but now how passed herself. Shame on you for picking on a little child. Does that make you feel better by taunting this little girl? May God have mercy on you!!! That sweet little innocent angel. Bullying has to stop!!! It's bad enough there are kids raised and their parents allow it to happen, but when you have an adult who is so stupid and immature to do upsetting things to this little girl...May you rot in hell!!!!!! Dear God, please be with Kathleen's grandmother and family during this difficult time...
K January 13, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Guess I should have read my article before posting. Sorry. It shoudl be now that this little girl has passed and not how passed herself. I pray for this family and this darling little angel...Rest in Peace Kathleen. I hope you meet my daughter in Heaven. Her name is Ashley and I'm sure she would love to be with you and your mommy!!!
Barbara Tripp Jordan January 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM
makes me so sad god bless her family and god bless this little angel ..R.I.P angel
Joy Southard January 14, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I am appauld to read this about this young child. How dare adults yet do such things to a child. You hear about children. BUT adults. This is abuse in many ways. I believe in hanging. And this is one I would love to have and hang from our Texas trees. Alittle bit of Texas justice. Kathleen Edwards? My love and prayers are with you. But you are with your mother and god. You are away from all hurt. Physical and mental taunting or anything else. You were much to young to go. But darling, you are safe and comforted now. God bless you, you little angel. Those that were ugly will get theirs one day. ANd they will pay double fold. Good night our little angel. We love you .
ellvee January 14, 2012 at 02:31 AM
What are you talking about?? Do you even know what this post is about? The little girl did not kill herself, she had a terminal illness. Yes, bullying is a part of life but it is not an acceptable part of life because children DO kill themselves over it. Read the papers much?
Kathy Doll January 14, 2012 at 07:24 AM
It started over a birthday party
Dave January 15, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Someday all the vile, disgusting deeds of the Petkov's will visit their own family tenfold. Society does NOT have to put up with such evil bullies as the Petkov's. Their day is coming.
Briana Saucedo January 16, 2012 at 09:13 PM
i agree with you, andi i hope they never find peace in their lifes not for what they did to her i mean, a 9 year old, really!? what did she do to you guys!?!?!
Adam Clayton Draayer February 03, 2012 at 03:43 AM
The bullying needs to stop everywhere ,only god can judge you ,not the bully...it never feels good after you put someone down or push them around ,thereafter there's always regret .and I'm sorry but by then it's to late .be nice ,it pays off to make someone smile ,you walk away knowing your making a difference.
ellvee February 03, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I also agree that a 9 year old should not be on FB but this child wasn't! Do you people not read the articles before you post about them?
ellvee February 03, 2012 at 04:44 AM
I don't know how old your kids are but don't you have to be 13 or 14 to have an account? I think a much better way if you want your kids to keep in touch with relatives, friends, etc. is to let them use your page for that, not have their own provided they are younger than 14.
ellvee February 03, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Well you're on here posting, aren't you?
ellvee February 03, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Number 1, you should read the article before you post a comment and don't know what you're talking about. Number 2, why did you have to say that you were black and a damn good father despite public opinion. Whose public opinion were you referring to, us "whites"? You are the only person on here who had to refer to their ethnicity to make a post. Put the race card back in your pocket because nobody cares about that but you. No one else mentioned their race, color or creed but you. Why?
ellvee February 03, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Well said. I'm very sorry for the loss of that beautiful little girl and her mother. My heart goes out to the family and to all of the people who love them.
Ryan James February 08, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Kathleen you have a special place in my heart!!! You truly are a courageous little angel!!!
Mary May 20, 2012 at 08:18 PM
If your mad at this happening to her or someone you know then call or talk to the appropiate people who can pass the law on cyber-bullying and bullying. Dont let this angel and what happened to her family keep happening. Stand up and sign a petition to stop bullying in any form. Kathleen fly to the arms of your mother and be happy.
Donna Hughes February 02, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I think that the whole case of what these grown adults did toRebecca and Kathleen was so horrible, uncalled for, immature and hopefully will be dealt with with a nice punishment. Ultimately what you dish out comes back and slaps you 20x harder then what you dished out. There is something mentally wrong with them to have done this to the grandmother and Kathleen. May Kathleen now RIP and Ms. Rose realize that she is in no more pain and with her mom and Jesus. These people will be dealt with and ultimately have to face their maker at some point in time and he will be the judge as to what will happen.
Jeanne-marie Tran February 03, 2013 at 12:25 PM
You are so right! As a teacher of (severely) emotionally disturbed and mentally ill I had to be with them all day because of the bullying, and when they had PE, I was on the field in the face of every kid who thought they could get away with anything when the Coach wasn't looking, AHHHHH, but I WAS there and I was in their little faces and when they would try to trip or body slam one of my or any other Special Ed teacher's kids I didn't just watch to see what happened, but when the coach gave the regular kids "a break" but blamed the special ed kids for a clash of behaviors, even when the regular ed kid was twice the body size in height and weight, and you know that these smaller SpEd kids weren't looking to die and wouldn't pick a fight with someone twice their size, so you know who was bullying who...so who does the Principal defend, even if I was there and saw it all, the Coach, and what comes of body slamming my same age but less physically developed kids, after listening to the fabrications of the Coach...actually sometimes my innocent kids are sent to the office for solitary confinement there, victims once by the perpetrator, victims twice when the coach tells a story that vindicates the regular kid and blames the SpEd kid. We have an anti-abnormal society, Van Gogh was mentally ill but was treated by his family and his neighbors critically concerned and that was extremely important. Acceptance crucial, help critical, love the greatest healer, shall we try, its free...


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