Couple hopes stolen grave tribute to their daughter will be returned

The Copes are hoping whoever stole a floral tribute from their daughter's grave will return it, no questions asked.

To some, it may be just a floral arrangement but to Janice and Lonnie Cope, it is a tribute to a much loved daughter who passed away too soon.

So, when a basket with purple flours, made by Janice, disappeared from the Hillsdale Cemetery, the Copes were sad and angry.

The Cope’s daughter, Stephanie, was 10 when she died from cancer. Lonny visits the grave every day, Janice, a couple of times a week.

The couple marked the 29th anniversary of her passing by placing the basket of flowers at the grave April 2. “April 1st is the Anniversary of her passing. Because of clean up at the cemetery we were not allowed to put anything at the grave site till the 2nd so, that’s what we did,” says Janice. She also made one to place at the nearby grave of Cindy Stenton, the 17 year-old daughter of the couple’s friend, Jim Stenton. She died in a car accident.

When Lonnie returned the next day, the flowers were gone. The couple is certain they were not taken by cemetery staff; someone stole the planters.

“With the way the world is now, why would anyone add pressure to anyone else,” asks Janice adding the grief of a parent for a child is hard enough already. “The picture is right on the stone they know she was a child….”

The Copes are hoping whoever took the flowers from the graves will simply return them to the cemetery, no questions asked.