Since the 2004 rape and murder of her 7-year-old daughter, Misty Hendrickson said she has focused all of her energy on her surviving children and in trying to find the strength to move on.
Hendrickson, 32, said her healing wounds were ripped back open last week when a political flyer landed at her doorstep.
The ad, mailed by the Ohio Republican Party, is intended to be an attack on Debbie Phillips, an Athens Democrat running for the 92nd District. The ad calls Phillips "an ally" to child rapists and murderers like Fred Mundt because Phillips opposes the death penalty.
Mundt was sentenced to the death penalty in Noble County Common Pleas Court for the March 9, 2004, rape and murder of Brittany Hendrickson.
"I don't feel they had any right to try to benefit from my daughter's suffering. What makes it worse is that they didn't even get their facts right," Hendrickson said.
The ad states Mundt raped the child, but says Misty Hendrickson threw the child in a shallow well where the girl drowned. Police determined Hendrickson had no involvement in her child's death.
"We made a serious and unintentional typographical error in the design stage of the mailer, and the mistake was not caught before it went out," Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said in a statement issued Thursday. "We were attempting to convey that the Democratic candidate in the race opposes the death penalty, even for such heinous criminals as Frederick Mundt. We accidentally used the wrong name. I've contacted Ms. Hendrickson to convey my deepest apologies on behalf of the party, and I offered to take immediate steps to correct the misinformation."
Hendrickson said she was offered an apology.
"Someone is supposed to come down with a letter, but I'm not sure I want it," she said. "This has been such a big mess, and I'm so hurt and mad that they could even do something like that."
The ad was in support of current Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson, who is opposing Phillips in the race.
Neither Thompson nor Phillips could be reached for comment.
An official with the Ohio GOP said Thursday he did not know how many of the flyers were mailed out. The 92nd District includes all or portions of Morgan, Athens, Meigs and Washington counties. Hendrickson said she was told 10,000 of the ads were mailed.
Gov. Ted Strickland called the ads "garbage" and issued a press release calling for an end to the mudslinging.
"Debbie Phillips is an honorable person who is committed to public service and someone who will work tirelessly for southeast Ohio in the Statehouse," said Strickland. "I urge the voters of the 92nd District to look beyond the mudslinging from the Republicans...."
Hendrickson said she's not interested in politics and even less excited about being thrust into a campaign.
"This is all just a big mess and it has my entire family upset," she said. "I want (the people responsible for the mailer) to take responsibility for their mistakes and to let my family get back to trying to move on with our lives.