If you want to raise well-balanced, intelligent, respectful, questioning, and happy children, I wouldn't do what these parents did. It certainly isn't my style.
But it isn't illegal or abusive (at least not much), so they are free to as they see fit.
I have a cat. His name is Votto.
He's way better than any kid.
In my non-expert, Ann Landers-style opinion, I would opine that dealing with the loss of a beloved relative, especially under these gruesome circumstances, would be better dealt with through professional counseling and therapy, and possibly even medication.
The child has suffered enough, and is probably also experiencing nightmares and panic attacks. Her mind, body, and spirit are not mature enough to manage the added stress.
The article also makes no mention of the mother's grief for losing her brother. Is it possible that the mother herself is the one whom is acting out for attention?
The first step in fixing a problem is finding the roots of that problem.