Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

December 13, 2012

Kinkelaars offer $700 reward for missing memorial

EFFINGHAM —

Most people agree there's nothing worse for parents than the loss of a child, no matter how old.

But the grief endured by Chris and Sandy Kinkelaar, of rural Effingham, has been compounded by the theft of memorial items at the site where their son, Jesse, was involved in a fatal ATV wreck this past summer.

The Kinkelaars believe somebody removed the items early Saturday morning. An Effingham County sheriff's deputy reported seeing the memorial intact at about 1 a.m. that day.

But by the time a nearby resident passed the memorial site on 2000th Avenue northwest of Effingham, everything was gone.

"It was picked clean," said Chris. "We have our suspicions, but we can't say."

Chris said the culprit might have been someone upset with one of the surviving family members. But he said that's no excuse.

"If somebody's mad at us, take it out on us," he said.

"What makes it worse is that the holidays are coming up," mom Sandy added. "It's so disrespectful. It's no different than somebody going to the cemetery and defacing his headstone."

The memorial was centered around a wooden cross with Jesse's name and his dates of birth and death. Other items stolen from the site include a solar light, name plaque, concrete deer, pumpkin, candles, flower arrangements and two American flags.

The Kinkelaars are offering a $700 reward for information leading to the return of the stolen items. Chris said the family first offered a $250 reward, using Facebook to get out the word. Pledges from social media users, however, have enabled the family to increase the reward.

The Kinkelaars have been looking for the items themselves.

"We've been driving around looking in ditches and over the edge of bridges," Sandy said.

Chris believes the items may still turn up.

"I believe this is all going to be found on a dirt road somewhere," he said. "It's out there somewhere."

Older sister Jennifer said the incident has been upsetting, to say the least.

"I have been really hurt by it," she said. "It's very disrespectful to friends and family. I'm really still in shock, because I can't believe someone would do that."

The family has already put up another cross topped with bright-colored balloons to make the memorial site more visible.

Those with information on the stolen items are encouraged to call the Kinkelaars at 217-254-5389.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron W.jpg Opinion: Column break just that -- a break

    ‘Hey, Ron. You didn’t have a column this week. What’s the deal? It’s the reason I buy a paper on Thursdays.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Isom.jpg Opinion: It's about time

    Finally, someone else speaks up and it’s about time.
    I applaud Ron Worman and welcome him to take a seat on my bandwagon. His addressing the proliferation of signs of every description, virtually everywhere one looks, is a welcome additional voice — even though rare.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Effingham County was meeting place for underage sex tryst

    An Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he traveled out of state to meet an underage person in Effingham County for sexual activity.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jail inmate attempts suicide

    An unscheduled cell check is credited for saving the life of an Effingham County Jail inmate who tried to hang himself early Thursday morning.

    July 25, 2014

  • Woman injured in Farina collision

    An accident on Washington Street sent one driver to the hospital Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Driver crashes after being forced off road

    A driver crashed after being run off the road by a semi on Interstate 70.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rollover on I-70 sends one to hospital

    An accident on Interstate-70 sent one traveler to the hospital.

    July 25, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.