Wrong mom harassed after Gorilla death

Michelle Gregg says she became a target shortly after the incident.

Michelle Gregg of Weston, Ohio has been misidentified as the mom whose child fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.

WESTON, Ohio (CBS WTOL) – A Northwest Ohio woman is speaking out after she became the target of online abuse linked to the death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Many people have messaged Michelle Gregg of Weston, thinking she’s the same Michelle Gregg whose son fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Saturday, leading officials to kill the animal.

“It is crazy that they typed in my name, saw that I was from Ohio, saw that I had a little boy, and assumed that I was her,” said Gregg.

She says she became a target shortly after the incident.

“That I deserve to die instead of the gorilla, and someone even said that my child should have had his limbs taken off and he should have been eaten alive by the gorilla,” said Gregg.

One message even mentioned karma was coming for her and her son.

Gregg says once she figured out the name connection, she started to reply to nearly every message, and changed her Facebook photo.

“People that were hateful, I thought they needed to know that I wasn’t the person that they were looking for, and for the people who were being positive, I wanted to thank them,” said Gregg.

Several days later, the messages have died down, but she says she still can’t believe how people have verbally abused her and the boy’s real mother.

“I know how she feels because I’m receiving a ton of email that’s directed towards her, and I’m sorry that everything is happening to her like this, and I know what a child is capable of in a blink of an eye,” said Gregg.

She says she is now receiving more messages of encouragement, and the hate mail has calmed down.

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