DIPG

‘Please stop stealing from my dead child,’ Sophia Myers’ mother pleads

People have been taking mementos from the gravesite of Sophia Ann Myers, a 7-year-old Ocean Springs girl who died after battling DIPG.
People have been taking mementos from the gravesite of Sophia Ann Myers, a 7-year-old Ocean Springs girl who died after battling DIPG. jmichell@sunherald.com

Sophia Myers’ parents have tried to be gracious with those stealing special mementos from their daughter’s final resting place, but now they are angry.

“Please stop stealing from my dead child,” Angel Myers said after her appeals this month for the thievery to end went unanswered.

“I have been forgiving,” she said. “But now, now I am furious. One of her angels and a cross have been stolen. Things that I brought to Sophia. Things that were treasures to me in my grief. Things that were gifts from me to my child. Things that were given to me that have meaning. Why? Why would someone do this.”

Sophia Myers, 7, died Oct. 20 of a rare brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. Her mother and father, Josh Myers, shared Sophia’s battle with the rare cancer as documented in the Sun Herald’s six-part investigative series, “Diagnosis Death.”

Sophia’s final resting place has been repeatedly violated since she was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs.

During the holiday season, her family and friends left poinsettias at Sophia’s resting place. The following day, they were gone, but locals came through and donated more poinsettias to replace the ones that were stolen.

The latest thievery has hit even closer to home for the family.

When the family goes to privately grieve their child at the cemetery, they are now experiencing even more pain.

“Today was already a tough day,” Angel Myers said Wednesday. “Well, truthfully, everyday is. It’s a struggle to get through each hour and minute and now I can’t even come to visit my child and grieve for her peacefully because I arrive to find someone has stolen from her.”

Angel Myers likes to spend private time grieving her daughter on the back side of her mausoleum. Her mother considers it her special place to be close to her child and grieve privately.

An angel for Sophia

Since Sophia’s death, her mom has left personal items for Sophia, many of them given to her by special family and friends and some that represented special memories between the child and her family.

Among the items was a special angel her mother left for Sophia, which was stolen as well.

Her mother and father simply want people to respect their daughter’s resting place.

Angel Myers is also asking people to stay away from the personal mementos she leaves for her daughter on the back side of Sophia’s mausoleum.

“Don’t move them,” she said. “Don’t touch them. Don’t invade my grief and her solemnity that way. In fact, please if you visit her, respectfully stay to the front of her mausoleum. If you bring her something, know that we are grateful, but do not touch what is already there.”

Sophia’s parents have even considered the thought of having to put in a security camera in hopes of stopping the thefts.

Angel Myers is angry at even the thought of having to do something like that.

“I cannot believe this,” she said. “I can’t put a security camera out to monitor my baby’s grave. Why should I have to? What the hell is wrong with the world?”

Sophia’s parents are hoping their appeals to the public to stop stealing from their daughter’s gravesite will be heard. Angel Myers has even asked that whoever took the items to return them - no questions asked.

Nothing has been returned.

‘I’m angry, hurt, devastated’

The thefts have even hit close to home for friends of the Myers’ family, including Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Vicki Savage Spiers.

After some of the items were stolen, Spiers bought two LED battery-powered miniature Christmas trees and lanterns for Sophia’s gravesite.

By the time Angel Myers got to the cemetery, the lanterns had been stolen.

“As a law enforcement officer, I thought nothing surprised me and then BOOM, someone does something that completely blows me away. I’m angry, hurt, devastated, ...., whatever emotion a person can feel, I’m feeling them,” Spiers said. “I’m more angry over the fact that my sweet girl, Angel, is once again tortured by someone taking away from her child! Why?”

Spiers shared information about the thefts in a public Facebook post afterward.

“If you want your own (lanterns) and can’t afford them, I’ll buy you some, but please bring those lanterns back to Bug,” she said. “Those are hers. You have no idea the hurt you are causing. If you’re going through hard times, I get it. I really do, but it’s not OK to take from a little girl and her family. Just give them back, please.”

Anyone who stole the items is being asked to return them.

Other tips may be called in to the Ocean Springs Police Department at 228-875-2211.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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