Ohio Woman Arrested for Stealing from a Child's Grave

Ohio Woman Arrested for Stealing from a Child's Grave

An Ohio woman has been arrested for stealing items left at a child’s gravesite, reports reveal.

The woman, Frieda Kay Shade, 54, of Mansfield, Ohio, turned herself in after being identified in a surveillance video taking a stuffed animal from the gravesite of fourteen-month-old Hayden “Tank” Cole Sheridan.

Young Hayden’s family has for years been reporting items stolen from the gravesite, and enough items turned up missing that police set up a surveillance camera to see if they could identify who was responsible for the thefts.

The Sheridan family reported that toys, stuffed animals, memorial wreaths, and other items have turned up missing from the gravesite since Hayden’s death in 2007.

Police had taken to social media and posted still photos of the woman stealing the stuffed animal from the gravesite. After it was posted, Sheridan was identified by dozens of local Mansfield citizens as the person in the images.

Shade’s attorney claimed that the video could be misleading, because viewers cannot know what was in her mind when she took the toy from the grave.

Shade told police that she took the stuffed animal because a dog was running loose in the area, and she didn’t want the stuffed toy torn up by the animal.

The boy’s father, Scott Sheridan, was shocked by the incident. “I have no idea yet how I feel about (the arrest). I’m kind of in shock and have had no chance to think about it,” he told the media.

Family member Jaclyn Sheridan reported that the theft was first noticed when family members visited Hayden’s grave on Easter.

“We should be able to decorate his resting spot and leave things on his grave during the time we’re allowed,” she said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at