Ex-girlfriend removes boyfriend’s ashes from grave

ATHENS, Ohio – A Roseville, Ohio, woman pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to a charge of felony vandalism after allegedly removing the cremated remains of an old boyfriend from a cemetery.

Martha M. LaFollette, 48, is accused of removing the ashes of Roger Barber from New Marshfield Cemetery near Athens, according to a news release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. LaFollette may have taken the remains in retaliation for being barred from the funeral, police said.

The case is uncharted territory for Athens County Prosecutor C. David Warren.

“I have a category of crimes that I like to refer to as ‘aggravated stupid,'” he said. “I have been doing this for almost 30 years now and I have never had anyone steal someone’s ashes.”

The ashes, stolen around June 17, were found several weeks ago at the home of one of LaFollette’s relatives in Perry County, Warren said.

LaFollette is set for trial Jan. 20 in Athens County Common Pleas Court. If convicted, she faces a maximum of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine, Warren said.

LaFollette and Barber lived together in Roseville, about 40 miles north of Athens, for about five years, said Lt. Darrell Cogar of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office. Barber died Nov. 11, Warren said.