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Woman caught on video stealing toy from baby’s grave

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According to legend, Ernest Hemingway accepted a bet that he could write a novel using only six words. He allegedly rose to the occasion and then some, writing: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.” The six-word expression, regardless of authorship, has long haunted me. It has struck me, as it doubtless has other parents, as one of the most difficult sentiments in English to read. That was until I saw this real-life headline, also six words long: “Woman steals toy from baby’s grave.”

Fox Cleveland affiliate WJW provides the details of this incomprehensible story:

A stuffed animal placed at a baby’s grave for Easter was stolen before the holiday even began.

Sadly, it wasn’t the first time sentimental trinkets have gone missing from the 14-month-old’s plot at Mansfield Memorial Cemetery in Ontario, Richland County.

According to the Ontario Police Department, Hayden “Tank” Cole Sheridan died in 2007, and items started to disappear shortly after. They included things like toys and solar night lights.

Tank’s parents finally went to the police in 2012 and a surveillance camera was set up.

Though it rolled for years, a clear picture of a suspect was never caught — until April 19, 2014.

The footage can be viewed here.

An update to the story reveals that the woman seen in the video is one Frieda Kay Shade. She came forward voluntarily after the video went viral. Shade claims that she removed the toy, a large stuffed duck, from the gravesite to protect it from marauding dogs.

Shade was ticketed for petty theft.

There have been some outrageous stories reported at this blog, many of them testing the limits of human compassion for acts of stupidity or barbarism. In my view, few are as gut-wrenching as this one.

Your witness.

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