Woman admits to stealing toy from child’s grave — and explains why she did it

Posted at 12:46 PM, Apr 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-24 16:31:47-04
Woman removes stuffed animal from grave site (PHOTO: Ontario Police)

Woman removes stuffed animal from child’s grave site (PHOTO: Ontario Police)

ONTARIO, Ohio (WTVR) – Police in the Ohio town of Ontario say a woman has admitted to taking items off the grave site of a 14-month-old boy.

This after the police got the break they needed — and it was caught on video.

Police said Frieda Kay Shade, of Mansfield, admitted Thursday to being the person shown in the video.

Shade, who was served a summons for petty theft, told officers she saw a loose dog on the property and she picked up the stuffed animal to keep the dog from destroying it.

Police said this was not the first time an item was stolen from the child’s grave. Hayden “Tank” Cole Sheridan died in 2007, and items including toys and lights started to disappear shortly after.

“We were contacted by the parents of a 14 month old. They explained that their sweet little boy, Hayden ‘Tank’ Cole Sheridan, had passed away in 2007 and someone has been stealing toys and solar night lights from his grave site ever since,” police explained on Facebook. “We set up a camera to catch the thieves and we watched as items disappeared but never got an image that was good enough to identify the suspect.”

That changed last week after Sheridan’s parents put a yellow stuffed duck at his grave site for Easter. Police video showed someone walk up to the grave and take the duck.

“The family wants the person who did this to be held accountable however they recognize that this person is probably not responsible for all of thefts from “Tanks” grave site,” police said. “Most of all, the family just wants some assurance that they can leave a night light and a stuffed animal at their son’s grave without someone stealing it.”