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April 9, 2015 - 12:05pm

Arrest made in grave robbing case

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, St. Joseph Cemetary.

An 18-year-old Perry resident has been charged with aggravated cemetery desecration for allegedly digging up and taking home the urn containing his father's ashes.

Stephen E. Pike turned himself in after learning the police planned to charge him, according to a release from Batavia PD.

Sometime on Monday, Pike allegedly took the urn and carried it to his residence.

The urn was retrieved by detectives and re-interned at the cemetery.

Christopher Putnam
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Im sure that if he wanted some of his fathers ashes, that he would have to fill out some papers, pay the "fee" for the interment expert wait for the red tape to clear for a few months.....meanwhile they are HIS FATHERS ASHES. Poor choice yes, arrest, no.

Kyle Couchman
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Except for the fact that there is no greater disrespect than to dig up anyones remains in a cemetary. Last years stone tipping and vandalisms were bad enough but THIS is a line that should never be crossed. Even police have to get a court order before they can do something like this in the investigation of a crime.

There is NOTHING wrong with his being arrested for this, while they are his father's ashes, he doesn't have the right to desecrate the grave of 4 family members to do so.
Yes it was a poor choice but there is no justification for easing any consequences that result from those choices.

tom hunt
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This guy made an ASH of himself!!

Raymond Richardson
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"that he would have to fill out some papers, pay the "fee" for the interment expert wait for the red tape to clear for a few months..."

The "expert" is just a cemetery worker who would dig the urn up with a shovel so as to not accidentally cause the urn to open and spill the ashes out.

As far as red tape, I don't believe there is any that would take any amount of time. It would only entail gaining permission from the surviving spouse in writing and making arrangements with the cemetery association to open the grave, retrieve the urn, then close the grave.

".....meanwhile they are HIS FATHERS ASHES. Poor choice yes, arrest, no."

Regardless, he had no legal authority to do this on his own. FYI, aggravated desecration of a cemetery is a class E felony that carries a max of 4 years in prison for.

But no doubt his lawyer will plead this down to a misdemeanor charge and no jail time, with probation or a 6 month contemplation of dismissal, or something.

david spaulding
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It's been said that we all deal with grief in our own way. While I don't agree with this young man's deed, I can sympathize and understand that he has been having a hard time for the last nine years dealing with his father's death. This young man needs help not punishment, I can only hope his family stands by him and get him any assistance he may need.

Raymond Richardson
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At 18, someone should teach him that there is one thing more valuable than any item of his father's that will possess for a life time.

The memories of the time he shared with his dad.

Lisa Woltz
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David, I can definitely agree with your opinion. I can't imagine what this young man was going through. Losing someone and then finding out only 2 years ago this was his father? Especially losing him to a drunk driver. It must have been eating at him for a while now.

I feel for this young man. I'm sure I'm going to get bashed. He should have counseling. He did bring the urn back to his aunt, which tells me this young man does have a conscience. I know I'm speculating, just as we all are, he could have done this differently. However, slamming someone who may be grieving- isn't your right to "judge" either. Maybe, just maybe, you've never had that kind of loss or pain to act.

"Judge not less ye be judged."

Now an update says, he did dig his aunt's ashes instead of his dad's. How sad.

http://www.13wham.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/batavia-teen-dig...

Kyle Couchman
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Richard he never got to share any time with his biological father hence why he did this.

Lisa as for the judging, how about all these people in the family that are now suffering because of what Steve did. His father had many many brothers and sisters. The updated story that tells people a bit more from the families side. Doesn't the family have the right to judge? They are the victims suffering from the results of this. I know the family would have gotten some of these ashes for him if he had only asked. The things he already recieved from the family were willingly given, even though they were the only things THEY had left.

Just think to yourself how would you feel if a nephew or niece decided to dig up the remains of brother or sister, especially when there is 3 others also buried with him?

John Roach
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According to a story on WHAM (1180 AM radio) The kid was given up for adoption at age 3, so what memories did he have of his dad?

Part of a crime is intent, and there is no evidence he intended to commit a crime. He did something stupid. Give a conditional discharge if he stays out of trouble for 6 months. But to give him a criminal record for this would be a true miscarriage of justice.

Lisa Woltz
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...

Kyle Couchman
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This is my family Lisa and Mr. Pike has played the media a bit. He did have support he did have love but honestly there is some other issues at play here. Its not really what he portrayed in the interview/article. His coming into the family actually brought it much closer, for the first time they had Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners together and sat down to relate to Steve everything they could about his father and even celebrate his father's life. Now in front of the cameras he acts like he wasn't accepted or welcomed.

And honestly I feel that this just let him slide over what he did is exactly the reason that younger people today think they can do what they want instead of following the rules that we have in society. As the police said it doesnt matter what his reasons for what he did, he still has broken the law and needs to suffer the consequences. Also send a message to the community. After all the vandalism last year that no one was caught for it they just let Mr. Pike off the hook thats gonna prompt them to try digging up graves next.

Like the old saying goes dont do the crime if you cant do the time.

Kyle Couchman
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John that will be dealt with in court.... again intent is something that may or may not have happened. But the news does NOT have all of the story, not by a long shot.

As for his punishment... thats for a Judge to decide when he looks at ALL the evidence not just what the media or police choose to expose to the public.

Raymond Richardson
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"According to a story on WHAM (1180 AM radio) The kid was given up for adoption at age 3, so what memories did he have of his dad?"

I don't listen to talk radio as I have better, more constructive, things to do with my time.

Nothing in Howard's article here, nor on News10NBC's website about his life's story up until now.

As I stated once before, the crime he is charged with is a felony. But no doubt it more likely than not would be plead down to a misdemeanor and he might get a 6 month contemplation of dismissal, or conditional discharge. He could also get probation and a fine as well. As Kyle stated, it's up to the court.

Kyle is spot on with his last comment. Too many of today's youth seem to feel rules, and laws, were not meant for them and as such they do what they please.

Why not ask that young kid who shot the RPD officer in the head a few winters ago if he was not intending on shooting that officer?

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