Vigil held for abused teen

Teddy Foltz vigil
The cousin and great-grandmother of murder victim Teddy Foltz share a tender moment during a vigil for the teen on Wednesday.

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Another vigil was held Wednesday night to remember Teddy Foltz, 14, of Struthers, who was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend in January.

Approximately two dozen family members, friends and even strangers took turns lighting a candle outside of the Creed Street home where Foltz lived. Prayers and stories were shared in the front yard and pictures of Foltz and his younger twin brothers were placed on the front porch behind his great-grandmother, who led the vigil with a simple prayer.

“I know Teddy’s looking down on us and he wants us to go on with our lives and make the best of it and take care of his brothers,” said Kelly Mathews Plummer, Foltz’s godmother.

His cousin, Taylor Perl, said she won’t forget the type of boy he was.

“I think of a little boy who just had a big smile on his face all the time and who always made the best out of everything and if you were sad, he always found a way to make you happy,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Several spoke up to share a story with the group. But not everyone in the crowd had their own memory of Foltz.

Patty Stafford of Hubbard, a local nurse, never met Foltz, but stood with her candle to show support and shed light on child abuse.

“It was a tragic crime that occurred that should have never happened and we just need to do our part. There just should just not be any child that had to deal with the things that he had to go through,” Stafford said.

This wasn’t the first vigil for Teddy and family members said they are thankful to see the community support once again.

“It makes me feel good to see how much people really care about him, so that’s a good thing I guess,” Perl said.

Foltz’s father, Shawn Tedesco, is seeking legislation that would prevent a parent from pulling their child out of school if there is an open child abuse case. Find out more on the legislation by clicking here.

On Wednesday, Foltz’s mother, Shain Widdersheim, 32, of 28 Creed St., was sentenced to 15 years in prison after she pleaded guilty June 17 to four counts of child endangering and obstructing justice in connection with Foltz’s death.

Widdersheim’s boyfriend, Zaryl Bush, 43, was sentenced June 28 to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 33 years for beating Foltz so badly that he died less than a week later. Bush has appealed his conviction and sentence.

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