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Murder-suicide attempt draws outrage, understanding
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - There are new developments on the condition of a teenage girl with autism, who police say was the victim of an attempted murder-suicide.
A family friend posted an update on a Facebook support page, saying 14-year-old Issy Stapleton is wiggling her toes and fighting the tube helping her at DeVos Children's Hospital.
Meanwhile, her mother, Kelli Stapleton, is formally charged with attempted murder.
The tragic story is generating mixed reviews both nationally and internationally. From sympathy to rage, everyone has a reaction to the story of the Stapletons. Some are even now circulating a petition saying that Kelli Stapleton's charges aren't strong enough. All while, a family remains hopeful Issy will make a full recovery.
Just a day after being released from the hospital after police say she tried to kill herself and her daughter, 45-year-old Kelli Stapleton sits in jail, while her daughter Issy fights for her life, but the story of a family living with a rare form of autism that triggers violence has started a larger battle within the autism community.
One Kalamazoo man living with autism is starting a petition already signed by hundreds from West Michigan to the Netherlands, pushing to charge Kelli Stapleton with a hate crime for trying to harm her daughter with a disability.
Others in similar shoes ask the community to support this family in their time of need and not rush to judgment, telling Newschannel 3 that while the actions of Kelli are not justified, the stress the Stapletons were experiencing is often misunderstood.
Autism groups are posting statements on the attempted murder-suicide, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network stating, "The moment service gaps are used as a means to present the murder or attempted murder of autistic people as understandable or justified, a line is crossed."
A blogger and mother behind Adventures in Extreme Parenting asks a larger question online: "So many of us are asking why this keeps happening in our community? What drives a parent or caregiver to consider murdering an individual with special needs?"
In the last 24 hours, more than 700 members have rallied support for the mother and daughter on this Facebook fan page, the woman behind it posted just hours ago.
"I have zero tolerance for anyone who wants to bash Kelli. If you join and make comments that are unsupportive you will be dismissed," Aimee McCurdy, who created the page, writes.
Kelli Stapleton is being held tonight in the Benzie County Jail without bond. Her preliminary exam is expected to take place within the next two weeks.