breaking news

Wright State settled for nearly $2 million with feds over student aid issues

Family upset by thefts of lights around grave

Springfield cemetery plot has been target of repeated thefts, family says.


Before Ora Ann Castle passed away last year, she asked her family to make one promise: to never leave her in the dark.

She’s buried at Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield in a plot next to her son, and husband Billie Castle said he’s surrounded her tombstone with solar lights. Each night, he walks to the cemetery and stands outside the fence to talk to her, using the lights to located her grave among the rows.

“My wife was afraid of the dark, and as long as I live, I’ll have a light there,” Castle said.

Thieves have made this promise increasingly difficult to keep, stealing 14 sets of solar lights since August 2012. The lights are not made out of metal, which eliminates the concern that scrappers would take them. At times, the family has cemented the stakes into the ground, but the thieves “took the time to pound them out and break them,” said Barbara Castle, Ora Ann Castle’s daughter.

The lights themselves aren’t worth much— the family has paid about $150 to replace them— but family members said constantly having to replace them is upsetting.

“It’s not like we put anything out there that would mean anything to anybody else,” Barbara Castle said. “It feels like she can’t rest in peace because people won’t leave her alone.”

The superintendent of Ferncliff Cemetery did not return a phone call seeking comment. The cemetery’s regulations, posted on their website, do not ban the use of solar lights. The Castles said security officers at the cemetery have not located the thieves and have suggested they stop putting lights on the grave. However, that’s not something they’re willing to do.

“As long as I’m alive, I’ll put lights out there,” Barbara Castle said.

The family plans to make a report to police, and, in the meantime, they said they hope these grave robbers will “get a conscience” and stop stealing from their plot.

“I don’t understand how you would ever get forgiven or face God for stealing from the dead,” Billie Castle said. “I think you will answer to God for it.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Wright State settled for nearly $2 million with feds over student aid issues
Wright State settled for nearly $2 million with feds over student aid issues

An audit released by the state on Thursday revealed a nearly $2 million settlement between Wright State University and the U.S. Department of Education and sheds more light on the school’s financial troubles and ongoing investigations. On Nov. 1, Wright State agreed to pay more than $1.98 million for issues stemming from a routine 2015 federal...
Revenge porn victim: ‘The cell phone had more rights than me’
Revenge porn victim: ‘The cell phone had more rights than me’

Nine months ago, Katelyn Bowden was shocked and humiliated to find intimate photos of her from her ex-boyfriend’s stolen cell phone landed on dozens of websites. Bowden reported it to the police, only to be told the only crime committed was the cell phone theft. “I was told that in the state of Ohio, the cell phone had more rights than...
9 best- worst-paying jobs at Amazon
9 best- worst-paying jobs at Amazon

Amazon is the talk of the town for metro areas across North America, since the company just announced it has whittled the list of cities that could be home to its second headquarters down to 20. The cities, which include New York, Nashville, Tennessee, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, are vying for the massive $5 billion project, known as HQ2, that...
Police use Facebook to help man get off work during icy weather
Police use Facebook to help man get off work during icy weather

Police in Texas used social media to offer a helping hand to a man who was trying to get off work as roads across the region began to ice over earlier this week. Police posted a warning on their Facebook page at 6:37 a.m. Tuesday telling citizens that all city offices would be closed. They urged area residents to stay inside and do their best to keep...
Champaign County still investigating likely attempted murder-suicide
Champaign County still investigating likely attempted murder-suicide

Champaign County Deputies continue to investigate a shooting on New Year’s Eve and said they’re looking at it as an attempted murder-suicide, according to a sheriff’s office report. RELATED: 1 dead after Champaign County shooting: What we know now Officers were dispatched to a home in the 9800 block of Loveless Road...
More Stories