Woman Arrested After Being Caught Stealing Toys From Baby’s Grave

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After years of wondering, a family in Ohio found out Wednesday what was happening to at least some of the toys that were disappearing from the grave of their young son.


After her picture was released by police, Frieda Kay Shade, of Mansfield turned herself into police. (Credit: Ontario Police Department)

The Sheridan family said keepsakes left for 14-month-old Hayden had been mysteriously vanishing since his death in 2007.

“We’re usually out two times a week, during the holidays and stuff, it’s usually twice a day,” said Jacyln Sheridan told TV station WJW.

“He was 14 months old when he passed away in his crib during a nap time. But he was also a micro-premie, he weighed 1 pound 10 ounces at birth, along with his brother and sister, he was a triplet,” Sheridan told the station.

As time went by, Sheridan began to notice items left on Hayden’s grave seemed to just vanish, sometimes overnight.

“His nickname was “Tank,” his dad gave him that nickname when we left the NICU, and we put Army tanks down, toys, and his dad put a big one on there. That was taken,” Sheridan said.

It happened again on Easter.


Haden’s grave decorated for Easter. (Credit: CNN)

“Saturday morning around 9:30, I came and dropped a couple things off for him… and when we came back Sunday morning to lay our cross out, it was gone,” Sheridan said.

Ontario police had already installed a camera near Hayden’s grave but had never been able to capture a clear image of anyone tampering with his toys.

That all changed this week.

“She walks up to the grave site. She immediately reaches down and picks up the yellow stuffed duck. Shakes off the dirt and walks right away, without any hesitation,” Ontario Police Detective John Sigler told WJW.

The family was sickened by what they witnessed.

“We watched this little guy fight for 16 weeks to live. And then when we did lose him, it was shock and devastation. But then to have this happen over and over and over again, it’s like peeling the wound deeper. He was very much loved, he meant everything to us,” Sheridan said.

After the woman’s image was released by police, Frieda Kay Shade, of Mansfield turned herself in, according to TV station WKYC.


Hayden “Tank” Sheridan died in 2007. (Credit: CNN)

The 54-year-old was charged with petty left, the station reported.

“Stealing is as low as it gets, in my opinion. But when you come to the graveyard and steal off a baby’s grave. It’s decorated, you know there’s a family that loves this child. I just don’t understand it, don’t understand why,” Sheridan said.

(CNN affiliate WJW contributed to this report)

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