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Woman flees with donations for girl's funeral expenses...

By Doug Staley
Craig Taylor feels like someone who was kicked while he was down.
Last month, his 15-year-old daughter, Holly Wigington, was killed while crossing state state Route 21 near Menards in Massillon.
While still grieving the tragic loss of his daughter, an unknown amount of cash raised last month to help with her funeral expenses apparently was stolen, according to Taylor.
Taylor never has seen any of the donations from Harleys for Holly, a benefit motorcycle poker run held Oct. 16.
“How could you take advantage of someone grieving like this?” Taylor said.
Taylor said the person who organized the benefit recently pulled her three children out of the Fairless Local School District and moved away. Taylor has attempted to contact the woman several times, but she has not answered his cellphone texts or Facebook messages. A phone number listed on the flier has been turned off, Taylor said.
“I never heard from her. She pretty much avoided me at all costs. It’s been more than two weeks now,” Taylor said. “I went through the hardest thing I’d ever thought I’d have to do. I thought someone was helping me out ... .” Taylor said the woman did not get his permission to organize the fundraiser. He only found out about it after seeing a posted flier.
“She never called me,” he said. “I talked to her the night before the poker run and she put a map and a flier and stuck it in my fence.”
Taylor went to police last week to report the theft.
A flier for the poker run indicates single riders were asked to contribute $15 and couples $20. Donations were being collected at several area businesses, including some as far away as Bolivar, according to Beach City Police Chief James Woods.
Taylor said he has talked to several of the businesses.
“They don’t seem like they’re very happy about it,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s daughter, a Fairless High sophomore, died Sept. 24 when she was hit by a pickup truck on state Route 21. Wigington reportedly was returning to her great-grandmother’s residence after getting something to eat at a nearby restaurant. The driver of the pickup, a 45-year-old Hartville man, told Ohio Highway Patrol troopers he did not see Wigington crossing the street.
Wigington was the daughter of Taylor and Sonia Flaherty.
No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the pickup but the Patrol’s investigation has been completed, according to Lt. William Weirtz. The case has been forwarded to the city Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Meanwhile, the theft investigation is ongoing, Wood said, adding a couple of witnesses have been interviewed.
“We’ve been able to identify a possible suspect,” Wood said. “Hopefully, it will come to a swift conclusion. There were several collection cans and that money is unaccounted for. I’m still trying to piece it all together. I have a list of businesses that I have to contact and find out if they collected any funds ... . It’s going to be very difficult to determine the exact dollar amount.”
At this point, Taylor believes the money has been spent. He’s still hoping the woman will be caught.
“I don’t want them to do this to someone else,” he said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Beach City Police Department at 330-756-2449.

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