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)

Recently Played

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Sports

Curry and James top All-NBA Team

curry-625873685502

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a unanimous selection to the All-NBA First Team after taking every first-place vote in the MVP balloting.

3 hours ago in Sports

Baylor removes Starr as president, will fire coach over rape cases

baylorbrilesap

Baylor University has removed Kenneth Starr as president and will fire head football coach Art Briles after an independent report found administrators mishandled sexual abuse cases involving football players, the school announced on Thursday.

3 hours ago in Sports

Warriors shoot past Thunder, extend West finals

Updated
12-overlay-14

Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes bombed in 3-pointers on consecutive possessions during an eight-point flurry that opened a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and the Golden State Warriors held on from there to stay alive in the Western Conference finals with a 120-111 victory over the Oklahoma Thunder on Thursday night.

3 hours ago in Sports

Rust scores 2 as Pens beat Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals

Updated
25-overlay-10

Sure, Sid and Geno still are around. Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang, too. But these Pittsburgh Penguins aren't just a team of big names, but one of guys still trying to make a name in the NHL, too.

3 hours ago in Sports

Friday’s Sports Minute

jackiebradleyjrAP

Here's a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today.