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Sign stolen from Sandy Hook memorial playground

One of the 26 playgrounds constructed in memory of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting victims; this one in Hartford, Conn. was unveiled Friday, April 4, 2014, in tribute to Ana Grace Marquez-Greene Michael Guerrera via CBS Connecticut

MYSTIC, Conn. - A 50-pound vinyl peace sign has been stolen from a Mystic, Conn. playground built in memory of one of the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The sign at the entrance to the Grace McDonnell playground disappeared Tuesday.

William Lavin, who has been leading the effort to build playgrounds to honor all 26 Newtown victims, told The Day of New London that a man called Grace's mother and told her he took the sign because he believes the December 2012 school shooting was a hoax.

"There's still a lot of ignorance and evil out there that someone could do something like that," Lavin said Wednesday.

Lynn McDonnell was upset after the phone call and worried about how the theft might affect those who helped build the playground, Lavin said.

The foundation has ordered a replacement sign.

The incident comes less than a week after graffiti was found on another victim's memorial playground.

However, the message found spray-painted Sunday at the Ana Marquez Greene Memorial playground in Hartford read, "Peace to Sandy Hook," using a peace sign and the numeral "2." It was later removed.

Ana's mother, Nelba Marquez Greene, told WTNH-TV she was not upset with the graffiti and plans to raise money to put up a graffiti board to allow others to leave similar condolence messages.

  • Crimesider Staff

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