Shawn Michael Wilde, 25, turned himself in to police on Saturday after authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest.
Wilde is the grandson of Mary Baroni, whose funeral was held on January 28. The 98-year-old grandmother had passed away earlier this year and was due to be buried while wearing an 18-inch gold chain worth around $5,000. The necklace, which Mary Baroni wore daily, held the wedding band of Baroni’s late husband.
Thirty minutes before the funeral service was set to begin, a funeral director was approached by Wilde, who asked “just to say a prayer” by Baroni’s open casket. His request was granted.
However, when Wilde left, the director noticed the gold chain was missing from Mary’s body. When confronted by funeral director Mark Chapman about the missing jewelry, Wilde denied any knowledge of the gold chain before leaving “hurriedly.”
Wilde was in such a rush to leave that he hit a parked vehicle in the funeral parlor’s lot and did not stop. It has since transpired Wilde was driving on a suspended license.
Police later urged Wilde to return the necklace and ring but had no luck. A police report on the case reads:
“While initially claiming he never had the chain, [Shawn Wilde] eventually asked me what kind of help he could get with the charges if he was able to get the chain back.”
Wilde is charged with larceny from a building, a felony. He will also face charges of operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license and failing to notify the registry of a change of address, both misdemeanors. He is due back in court March 11.
As for Mary’s necklace and ring, they remain missing.