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Sandy Hook memorial honoring grandson stolen from family's yard

By ANNA MEILER

SHERRILL, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Jack Radley's known along his road for his fantastic Christmas decorations.

"I didn't feel like doing it this year because of Jay," said Radley.

James Mattioli, his 6-year-old grandson, was murdered inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. So just days after the one-year-anniversary, Radley took his decorations in a new direction.

"I did a little memorial. I put 26 candles out front sort of in a semi circle in honor of the 26 people that died at Sandy Hook and then I put an angel behind them sort of looking over them and that's all I did. That was the extent of the decorations," he said.

But when he brought out the garbage the next morning, he was shocked to see foot prints in his front yard. The candy canes were gone.

"I'm hoping whoever did it, did not know the significance of it. If it was just a random act of vandalism, that would sit well- well better with me than if they knew what they were for and then took them, I would really be hurt if that were the case because one of those 26 was my grandson," he said.

Neighbors with fond memories of young James are heart broken to hear someone could be so cruel.

"I'm devastated by it. These are the nicest people. They are wonderful people and they're always doing something to help somebody out and somebody's going to steal their candy canes? The only thing they felt they had the heart enough to put up?" said Anna Nye, the neighbor next door.

And if the thieves did know the meaning behind the memorial, Radley said, "I don't even want to think about that. Nope, I don't even want to think about that."

The Sherrill police are looking into the situation and are hoping anyone with information comes forward.

Jack and his wife, Kathy, have lived in Sherrill for many years and raised their daughter Cindy there. She moved to Newtown, Conn. to raise a family, including 6-year-old James.

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