Town Heals and Remembers

Handmade Signs Show Up After Theft at Park Honoring Sandy Hook Victim

The thief called Grace's mom and said the school shooting was a hoax.

By Audrey Washington
|  Wednesday, May 14, 2014  |  Updated 1:34 PM EDT
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A new replacement sign to be installed at the Grace McDonnell Playground in Mystic

Audrey Washington, Steve Pancione

A new replacement sign to be installed at the Grace McDonnell Playground in Mystic

A vinyl peace sign will be reinstalled at a playground dedicated to a Sandy Hook shooting victim a week after a man stole it.

Last week, a man stole the 50-pound sign from a park dedicated to Grace McDonnell, then called her mother and claimed the school shooting was a hoax, according to one of the organizers of the group building the playground. 

Offers to replace the sign have since come from across the state and as far away as Florida.

The Where Angels Play Foundation has ordered a replacement sign and temporary handmade signs have been placed at the playground until it arrives.

The nearby YMCA will next work on a security strategy with the Stonington Police Department and police patrols will be increased at the playground.

Becky Morris, of Mystic, said the theft broke her heart, but the public response proves a simple act of kindness can always outweigh the bad.

"There's so much goodness and kindness and there's so much to be positive about, so focus on that,” Morris said. "Really, the worst bit for us is that somebody could suggest that Sandy Hook never happened and to do that to Grace's mom.”
 

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