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

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
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.”


  • athynz

    That’s just common. Even if this woman is not guilty of the rest of the thefts – which I’m doubting considering how blase she was in taking the stuffed animal in the video – she still disrespected someone’s final resting place. I hope she is found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  • Jenny

    How disgusting to steal from a child, especially from a child’s grave. They need to catch this woman and give her community service of helping maintain cemeteries for the next five years. Maybe she’ll think twice about doing this again.

  • Gene

    what has the human race become….. We all have loved ones that we feel connected by placing items at their grave site…why would people take this from a child’s grave… please find her and prosecute!.

  • Brenda

    Unfortunately, this is pretty common. Every time I left little toys and things at my 5 year old daughter’s grave, they would all be missing the next week. I even have to chain down flowers to make sure they don’t go missing either. Her grave is in a nice area too, behind a nice neighborhood. I finally quit bringing toys, had an etched granite bench set up, and only take flowers now. it’s sad that you can’t even trust people visiting a cemetery.

      • Amanda

        Hayden was born as a triplet. They were born 16 weeks early. All 3 babies have cereal palsy. His mom put the babies down for a nap and he never woke up. I went to school with the triplets mom.

  • Lindsey Dunivan

    I have 2 of my babies buried at a graveyard in Charlottesville Virginia, we have had the same issue – My son has been buried there since 2006 and his solar cross has been taken, numerous toys and flowers. My daughter was just buried there in Dec. 2013 and I have learned from my son’s that I will not spend the money on things that someone else will enjoy. So my children’s graves have to go without. It is very sad that someone would take anything from anybody’s grave much less off of a baby or toddlers. I think this women needs to be prosecuted and made as an example..

  • betty

    Really she looks like a fat sick oh don’t get me started she should be put behind bars and please throw away the keys !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brandi Norton

    This happens every single time with out fail that I put something on my granda or uncles grave! Disgusting! My mom and I said we are going to rig up a hand that reaches up and grabs the person when they do it!

  • Cindy

    She is the slime of the Earth! This is sad! My husband passed away 14 years ago of a heart attack (he was only 43) and people have stole some of the decorations his mom and I placed on his gravesite at Christmas time. We have to make sure everything is tied down securely! People are sick!

  • Dave

    I would suggest an alternative to placing items. instead find a worthy cause or person / child in need and give them items they need in memory of your lost love one. here in the good old USA there are many hungry children, many children who never owned a bike or a pair of skates. it makes me sick to see folks begging for money to be sent to other countries from the usa when they are already sending our jobs there. lets take care of our own first! one final thought ” there are worse things in life than death ” my grandmother use to say that. so celebrate their life by giving to others.

    • athynz

      I like that idea! Mark her for all to see as a common thief who steals from children’s graves. Or put some sort of tracker inside a stuffed animal and see where it ends up.

    • Blair

      Do you seriously believe there is a financial motive for removing a few Teddy Bears, toys, or lights from a cemetery? You seem more intelligent than that.

  • Gerry

    Her excuse doesn’t pan out. No way would a stray dog take a stuffed animal. I suggest that the cops sheck her computer and see if she’s selling the stuff online or at flea-markets. OR is she just giving the stuff to kids that she knows?

  • Blair

    It is a blessing that true good soul like this woman clears the worldly artifacts of toys and lights that foul and desecrate spiritual resting places.

  • angie

    Isn’t there anyone on here who is willing to allow for the possibility that this woman might not be as mentally healthy or intelligent or as affluent as themselves? I too have lost a child and had items stolen. I just hope the items made a living child happy. I am sure my own little one would be happy about that too

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.