The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 12, 2013

Infant’s grave robbed

Parents anguish over place they went for comfort and solace in Edgewood Cemetery

Staff Writer

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A baby’s grave in Edgewood Cemetery was robbed of several items sometime in the past two weeks.

The infant’s mother said it’s like feeling the loss all over again.

“It takes someone pretty low to steal from 6-day-old baby’s grave,” said the child’s mother, Debby Hotaling of Ashtabula.

Debby and Daniel Hotaling buried their son, Danny Jr., 43 years ago and since then the grave was a place of comfort. He was buried near Debby Hotaling’s father and brother, members of the Pinney family.

“Someone removed a turtle, a frog and other items off the grave,” she said. “We had just fixed it up for Memorial Day.”

Debby Hotaling could not hold back the tears as she described finding the items missing from her child’s grave Tuesday morning at the cemetery, 4011 State Road.

At first, the notion of someone stealing items off a grave was inconceivable.

“I thought the cemetery removed them for some reason,” she said.

So, she went to township officials looking for answers.

When they told her no, they did not remove the items, she went to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office to file a report.

She says her baby and the others surrounding him deserve to rest in peace.

No other items have been reported stolen from the cemetery in the past month, according to the sheriff’s office reports.