You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

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

Sierra Nevada recalls beer for glass flaw
Sierra Nevada recalls beer for glass flaw

Sierra Nevada is recalling some of its beer because of a packaging flaw that can cause a piece of glass to break and possibly fall into the beverage. The voluntary recall comes after inspections at the Mills River, North Carolina brewery noticed the fault after some bottles of beer had low carbonation, according to a statement from Sierra Nevada.  ...
Trump's first executive order suspends mortgage insurance rate decrease
Trump's first executive order suspends mortgage insurance rate decrease

President Donald Trump’s first executive order blocked a mortgage insurance premium cut that would have reduced the cost of mortgages for millions of middle-class home buyers.
Woman fired, interviewed by Secret Service over tweet
Woman fired, interviewed by Secret Service over tweet

A Kentucky woman was fired after she tweeted about assassinating President Donald Trump, WAVE-TV reports. The woman's tweet read, “If someone was cruel enough to assassinate MLK, maybe someone will be kind enough to assassinate Trump. #bekind #trump #lovetrumpshate." Heather Lowrey has since deleted the tweet and deactivated her Twitter...
United lifts ground stop after computer outage
United lifts ground stop after computer outage

All of United Airlines flights were grounded Sunday because of a computer outage, the Federal Aviation Administration said. "A ground stop is in place for domestic flights due to an IT issue," United tweeted. "We’re working on a resolution. We apologize for the inconvenience." The ground stop was lifted after 9 p.m. "...
West Liberty-Salem schools to resume classes Tuesday
West Liberty-Salem schools to resume classes Tuesday

Classes at West Liberty-Salem schools will resume Tuesday, Superintendent Kraig Hissong said in a statement released Sunday. The schools have been closed since Friday morning, when two students were injured in a shooting at the high school. “Moving forward, the district is committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students,&rdquo...
More Stories