News

Woman charged with stealing toys from tot’s grave

Woman charged with stealing toys from tot’s grave

THEFT:Police in Ontario, Ohio, had tried for nearly two years to capture a clear image of someone who was taking mementos from the boy's grave. They finally got that image on Saturday and posted it to the police Facebook page. Photo: clipart.com

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A woman caught on an Ohio cemetery surveillance video taking a toy duck off the grave of a 14-month-old boy has been charged with petty theft, police said.

Police in Ontario, Ohio, had tried for nearly two years to capture a clear image of someone who was taking mementos from the boy’s grave. They finally got that image on Saturday and posted it to the police Facebook page.

Thousands of comments came in on the video showing a woman leaving the gravesite with a stuffed duck that had been placed there just hours before by the toddler’s parents. Some of the posts identified the woman as Frieda Kay Shade, 54, Ontario police Detective Jon Sigler said.

The theft of toys and solar-cell lights from Hayden “Tank” Cole Sheridan’s grave started in 2007, soon after he died and was buried at a cemetery in Mansfield, a town next to Ontario, Sigler said. Mementos left at other graves nearby remained undisturbed, making the family feel targeted, he said.

“When the family came to me, you could see the pain on their faces. It is such a sad story,” Sigler said in a telephone interview. “It hit us the same way it hit everyone else, that this is crazy.”

After several people identified the woman from the video, Sigler said he went to Shade’s Facebook page and saw images of her wearing the same clothes as seen in cemetery surveillance tapes.

Shade turned herself in Wednesday and told police she saw an “aggressive dog” digging up flowers at the cemetery and placed the toy on top of a garbage can to keep it safe.

Police do not believe that Shade and the boy’s family have a connection.

Shade is scheduled to appear in court next month on the misdemeanor charge.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Gunna Dickson)

Local Headlines

in Local

Spencer Wrestling Coach Retires

Tiger Logo

A long time coach at Spencer High School has decided to retire...

in Local

Severe Weather Awareness – Severe Thunderstorms

nws logo

Today's Severe Weather Awareness Week topic is severe thunderstorms...

in Local

Avera Medical Group Spencer To Become A Department of the Spencer Hospital

handshake

Spencer, IA (KICD)–Avera Medical Group Spencer is slated to officially become a department of the Spencer Hospital. Hospital CEO Bill…

in Local

Law Enforcement Reports

lawenforcement1240

A George man was arrested after leading authorities on a chase through two counties...

in Local

Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation Hits Fundraising Goal

News Hospital1240

Over $2.5 million in contributions, pledges and planned gifts have come in since the campaign kicked off in early January 2014...