A photo of Christopher Barrios, 6, who was killed in 2007, was used as a prop in a scene on "General Hospital: Night Shift," WKMG-TV, Orlando, reported.
Christopher's grandmother, Sue Rodriquez, said the show had no right to use the boy's photograph.
"Oh, my God, have mercy," Rodriquez told the station, adding she cried when she saw the clip of the soap opera featuring the photo of her dead grandson. "They ain't got no right doing that -- not a bit of right. ... That's our baby."
Rodriguez said she wanted to know who gave permission to use his picture.
"I'm glad I don't watch this kind of mess -- soap operas -- because if I had seen Christopher's picture on there, I would have gone nuts," Rodriquez said.
SOAPnet, the channel on which the ABC-produced show airs, issued an apology for using the photo.
"While the production team would never have knowingly chosen this particular photo, its use was a terrible error," SOAPnet said. "We offer our deepest condolences to the Barrios family for their loss and our sincerest apologies for any pain caused by our mistake. In the coming weeks, SOAPnet will air a series of public service announcements in Christopher's honor, to raise awareness of missing and exploited children. Meanwhile, the episode is being edited to permanently remove the photo."