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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

A Gravesite Theft

     Police charged a woman with stealing an item from a baby's gravesite at Mansfield Memorial Park in Mansfield, Ohio. Detective John Sigler said Frieda Kay Shade, 54 of Mansfield, turned herself in on April 23, 2014. She explained to authorities that she took a stuffed toy animal from the grave of Hayden Sheridan because a dog was running loose in the area and she didn't want the dog to destroy the toy. Sigler said Shade's attorney, Charles Robinson, said Shade will plead not guilty to one count of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor…

     Detective Sigler said several people came forward and identified Shade as the suspect after a video camera the police had set up near the gravesite captured a woman taking the toy. The footage was played in the social media where it received several thousand hits.

     "The video is there," said attorney Robinson, "we're not denying that. But the video evidence does not show what a person is thinking. There are mitigating circumstances. We have sympathy for the child who has expired."…

     According to Mansfield Municipal Court records, Shade has made several appearances in court for criminal and civil charges that include passing bad checks, unauthorized use of property, and evictions. Shade has two open cases in Richland County Common Pleas Court in reference to state taxes…

     The parents of the deceased boy believe his grave has been targeted by thieves over the years who have stolen flowers, wreaths, and toys. That led the police department to set up a surveillance camera, the kind typically used by hunters, near the gravesite in July 2012…[In October 2014, a Mansfield municipal judge sentenced Shade to 30 days in jail and fined her $250. Had Kay Shade stolen the toy from a store, she probably not would have been sentenced to jail.]

"Woman Charged in Theft From Child's Grave," The Mansfield News Journal, April 25, 2014 

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