Thief swipes solar panel from little boy’s grave


SAN ACACIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Someone out there should feel awful about what they have done to a little boy’s grave.

A thief stole something off the grave that was meant to give the boy a sense of security.

“He was a pistol,” Lonnie Gonzales said. “He was a lot of fun.”

At the San Acacia Cemetery near Socorro, tucked away near the back, lies 5-year-old Nico Chavez.

“He was just a very outgoing kid,” Gonzales said. “He loved bees. Bees were his favorite.”

He passed away in 2008 after collapsing at the doctor’s office. He had been fighting the flu and strep throat.

Lonnie Gonzales, a family friend, remembered that day.

“Doctors spent a lot of time on him and weren’t able to revive him. That’s the way it ended.”

But before his early death, Nico couldn’t go to sleep without one thing. Luana Santomenna will never forget that about her little boy. “He liked his night lights,” she said.

They put lights around his grave but then noticed something Monday.

“You go out there in the evening for the lights to be on and then you notice they’re not on and notice something is missing.”

The solar panel that powered those lights was gone. Someone stole it.

“It’s devastating,” Santomenna said. “There’s not even words you can find to describe the heartbreak you feel. Those were his night lights and somebody took them.”

It’s left everyone scratching their head, wondering how someone could do such a thing to his resting place.

“Someone desecrated his grave,” Gonzales said. “It’s horrible. Someone has reached all new lows.”

Now, they are hoping whoever did it has a change of heart. All they are asking for is that panel, which cost $300, to be returned.

“I don’t think they realize the amount of hurt that it caused the family,” Gonzales said.

The family said this isn’t the first time something has been stolen from Nico’s grave. A few years ago, someone stole his piggy bank.

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