Items removed from Lexington infant’s grave; thrown in trash

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- The pain of losing a child was reopened for a Lexington family after they said someone removed items left at infant Joshua Leonard's grave and threw them in the trash.

"It's wrong to take from a baby’s grave," said Joshua's grandmother Pam Dalton. 

Joshua died in February of 2011 from sudden infant death syndrome and was buried in the North Lexington Baptist Church cemetery. He was 3 months old.

The items removed, included an angel, snowflake and flowers, were found by family in the trash next to the cemetery. 

"This ain't much, but it something from us to show him we love him and I feel it should stay there," said Dalton. "It shouldn't be destroyed. This is his resting place, nobody should disturb that."

A church official told the family the cemetery policy is for older items left at graves to be removed by the groundskeeper. The family said all the graves, except Joshua’s, was still decorated with old grave ornaments and faded flowers. 

"They looked like they've been here for a long time. They didn't take them," said Dalton.

A North Lexington Baptist Church official assured the family the groundskeeper will be asked to no longer touch the grave of Joshua Leonard.

The family said they plan to replace the items thrown away.

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