A North Carolina woman stands accused of stealing items from an infant child’s grave, after the distraught parents placed a hidden camera that caught the thief in the act.
Rylee Mark Trollinger was just three months and 10 days old when he died, Fox 6 reports. “He was born with a cleft lip and palate,” Rebecca Trollinger, the infant’s mother, recounted, adding, “He went in for surgery on that and didn’t make it out.”
After their son passed away, the Trollingers visited his grave and decorated it as a way to make sure Rylee wasn’t forgotten. In September, however, they became suspicious when they noticed that items that had previously adorned the infant’s grave had gone missing.
Trending: Woman accused of stealing items from grave site http://t.co/AQ1dkAqyH9 pic.twitter.com/OHCqQN4hdy
— WXII 12 News (@WXII) July 11, 2014
Thirty-one items in total went missing from their infant son’s grave. Frustrated, they decided to take matters into their own hands. “We had absolutely enough. We decided we had to catch somebody, somehow,” Robert Trollinger, Rylee’s father, said. The Trollingers placed a hidden camera on their son’s grave, and over the Fourth of July weekend, captured images of a woman approaching Rylee’s grave, and leaving with several of the decorations.
After posting the images on Facebook, the Trollingers received a bevy of comments, including the name of the woman who was robbing their son’s grave: Clara Mann. According to WXII-TV, the Trollingers confronted the woman at her home, where surprisingly, most of the stolen items were in plain sight, displayed in her front yard. Rebecca Trollinger was glad to have the thefts resolved:
“It’s a huge sense of relief… it’s still pretty shocking that we were able to figure out who it was and that she so readily admitted to it and on top of that we were able to recover all of his items.”
Rylee’s grave likely wasn’t the only one that the 70-year-old Mann stole from either, according to Randy Jones of the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. “Oh, there’s no doubt in our minds that there are some more cases outstanding here,” Jones said, according to The Blaze. “We just got another report come in this morning, as a matter of fact, from the same cemetery.”
Though Mann was not arrested, she was charged with misdemeanor larceny. The decorations she stole from Rylee Trollinger have since been returned to the infant’s grave.