2-year-old Drowning Victim's Headstone Stolen, Family Devastated Again
By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma – A family who already lost a 2-year-old at Draper Lake last summer to a murder has now lost the one thing created to memorialize her.
Allie Croom drowned last June. Prosecutors say the 2-year-old was murdered by Donald Reeser, her mother's boyfriend.
Allie's grave in Midwest City lacks a tombstone and her aunt and uncle wanted to remedy that.
"Having something that the kids and the adults could associate with her death and now that she's not here we thought would help," said Jennifer Bibb, Allie's aunt.
A relative in Indiana created a 1,200 pound gravestone in the shape of a sandcastle for Allie for free.
"That was her. She would have you build the most enormous sandcastle. You'd spend an hour on it, and she would look at you and she would stomp all the way across it, because that was what she loved," Allie's aunt said.
When they brought the gravestone back from Indiana, the ground at the cemetery was too frozen to install it. The family covered it up and left it in a trailer in their front yard.
"It had a cargo box on the front of it, and then behind that sat a pallet the headstone on it, wrapped in plastic," Bobby Bibb, Allie's uncle said.
But on Monday, while the Bibbs were at work, someone stole it.
"It just breaks your heart and I know the person who picked it up had no idea what they got," Jennifer Bibb said.
The relatives of Allie Croom have had to deal with a lot of sorrow in the last several months. The tombstone theft just adds to the pain.
"It's almost like losing her all over again," Allie's aunt said.
Allie's aunt and uncle say the tombstone thief can return it to them, no questions asked. All they want is a lasting memorial for their niece.
Meanwhile, Donald Reeser remains in the Cleveland County jail awaiting his murder trial in March.
More on News9.com: Man Arrested for Drowning Toddler at Lake Draper