NC soldier, boyfriend arrested in death of her toddler daughter


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A 23-year-old Fort Bragg soldier was arrested Thursday in connection to the December death of her 2-year-old daughter.

Jeanie Ditty, an active duty soldier at Fort Bragg, is charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury for the death of her daughter, Macy Grace.

Warrants charging her boyfriend, Zachary Earl Keefer, with the same counts were issued Thursday. Keefer, 32, was at large but turned himself in Friday, detectives said.

On Dec. 2, police were called to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in reference to an unresponsive child.

That child, 2-year-old Macy Grace Ditty, was covered in bruises and medical staff determined the child had suffered life-threatening injuries consistent with child abuse.

Macy Grace Ditty was transferred to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where police said it was determined Macy Grace’s 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, police said.

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.

Ditty was arrested Thursday evening. She is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center without bond, police said.

Officials said that Ditty joined the Army in June 2011 and was discharged in November 2012. She re-enlisted in April 2015.

Fort Bragg officials said Friday that Ditty is a member of the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade and that she would remain active while she is under investigation.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Detective D. Johnson at (910) 224-3257.

Information also can be submitted by calling Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477) or by visiting and completing the anonymous online tip sheet or by text-a-tip on your mobile device by sending a message to 274637 (in the text box type “4Tip” followed by your message).

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