ONTARIO, Ohio (Mansfield Journal) — Someone is stealing items from a baby's gravesite at Mansfield Memorial Park and police in Ontario, Ohio need help identifying a suspect they captured on video last weekend.
On Saturday, about four to five hours after parents Scott and Jaclyn Sheridan placed a yellow stuffed duck at their son's gravesite for Easter, a woman is seen on the police surveillance footage taking the toy.
Ontario police Detective Jon Sigler said numerous people have reached out to the police department because someone has stolen items off the gravesite of Hayden "Tank" Cole Sheridan, who died in 2007. Past stolen items include flowers, wreaths and toy tanks.
Jaclyn Sheridan said the family went to his grave on Easter and saw the stuffed duck was gone.
The family has had items stolen off their son's grave for the past four years, Jaclyn said. "They've stolen solar lights like crazy," she said, adding that other gravesites near her son's have solar lights, but they are left alone.
"I feel like they are targeting his gravesite," she said. "We should be able to decorate his resting spot and leave things on his grave during the time we're allowed."
Jaclyn said the video footage has shown other people showing their respect at his gravesite, too. She said she decorates for holidays at his grave. Her son was 14 months old when he died.
Two years ago, someone was stealing toys and solar night lights from the gravesite. Ontario police set up a camera to catch the thieves, but never got an image that was good enough to identify any suspects, according to Sigler.
The family wants the woman who stole the stuffed animal to be held accountable; however, they recognize that the woman is probably not responsible for all previous thefts from their son's gravesite. Most of all, the family just wants some assurance that they can leave a night light or a toy at their son's grave without someone stealing it, Sigler said.
Ontario police have posted a video on the police department's Facebook page from Saturday, which shows a woman walking away from Tank's gravesite with the stuffed duck.
On Wednesday Detective Sigler said the stuffed duck was recovered. "Someone apparently saw their self on Facebook and returned to throw the stuffed animal out the window of a vehicle along the cemetery property."
Anyone who recognizes the suspect in the video is asked to contact the Ontario Police Department at 419-529-2115 or send police a private message.
Police are seeking this woman after she was captured on hidden camera taking a stuffed toy duck off a boy's grave.