The police in Ontario, Ohio have succeeded in capturing the image of a criminal who may stand unrivaled among the felon class. This picture was released with others of a woman who has been stealing toys off the grave of a dead infant. That’s right. Not just a grave robber but an infant grave robber. The police decided to set up a hidden camera and nailed these images. They are now seeking any leads on the culprit and, given the quality of the photographs, it would seem likely that the woman (shown here stealing a stuffed duck from the grave of Hayden “Tank” Cole Sheridan) will be identified.
Tank died in 2007 at only 14 months. Obviously such loss is inexpressible for the family but they have sought some solace in leaving toys at this grave site. However, someone has been appearing shortly after such visits and stealing the toys. The police thankfully did not shrug off the complaint and set up the hidden camera. They did a terrific job. On April 19th, they nailed a woman removing a stuffed duck and are now seeking people to help identify the culprit from photos and a video. This have been going on since 2012.
Given the low value of such objects, the problem is that this despicable crime might be viewed as a misdemeanor or a series of misdemeanors. However, Ohio does have a criminal provision on desecration:
(A) No person, without privilege to do so, shall purposely deface, damage, pollute, or otherwise physically mistreat any of the following:
(1) The flag of the United States or of this state;
(2) Any public monument;
(3) Any historical or commemorative marker, or any structure, Indian mound or earthwork, cemetery, thing, or site of great historical or archaeological interest;
(4) A place of worship, its furnishings, or religious artifacts or sacred texts within the place of worship or within the grounds upon which the place of worship is located;
(5) A work of art or museum piece;
(6) Any other object of reverence or sacred devotion.
(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of desecration. A violation of division (A)(1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of this section is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Except as otherwise provided in this division, a violation of division (A)(4) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree that is punishable by a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to the penalties specified for a felony of the fifth degree in sections 2929.13 to 2929.18 of the Revised Code. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved in a violation of division (A)(4) of this section is five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars, a violation of that division is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved in a violation of division (A)(4) of this section is one hundred thousand dollars or more, a violation of that division is a felony of the third degree.
(C) As used in this section, “cemetery” means any place of burial and includes burial sites that contain American Indian burial objects placed with or containing American Indian human remains.
Effective Date: 09-20-1999
Presumably, they will hit the culprit with anything that they can find short of a violation of the migratory bird act.
Anybody who might have information or recognize the woman in the video is asked to call the Ontario Police Department at (419) 529-2115.