Monday, Oct 15, 2018
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Burial rite slated for baby found in freezer

Donations make service possible


A public burial is to be held today at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park for the infant boy found in a freezer this spring.

The child, now named Alex Michael Cervantes by Leonya Williams, his maternal grandmother, is receiving a memorial service made possible by donations from local residents and organizations.

Delta resident Thomas J. Griesinger, 53, offered a burial plot in his family's possession at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.

"This child deserved to be buried in a dignified place," he said.

The child, whose death has been ruled homicide, was at least two days old when, authorities believe, he was submerged in water, strangled, wrapped in a towel, and then put into a freezer inside an East Toledo home.

The child's parents, Kenisha Pruitt, 20, and Antonio Cervantes, 18, are being held in Lucas County Jail awaiting trial on charges related to the child's death.

Mr. Griesinger said he became interested in helping provide a burial after first hearing of the infant's death. He helped coordinate the donations made by various organizations.

The burial plot belongs to Mr. Griesinger's family, but he said the space probably would have gone unused if he had not volunteered it.

The infant's body was held by the Lucas County Coroner's Office until Monday, when it was turned over to the Wick-Wisniewski Funeral Home, which donated a casket for the funeral and helped with burial plans.

David Czerniak, the funeral home's director, said he agreed to help after being approached by Mr. Griesinger, whom he has known for many years.

Ms. Williams could not be reached for comment Monday, but she told the funeral home she planned to attend the burial, which is to start at 11 a.m. at the memorial park on Talmadge Road at Central Avenue and is open to the public.

Ottawa Hills Memorial Park also donated burial services, and Ken's Flower shop offered a floral arrangement for the service.

The baby was discovered, authorities said, on April 13 in a freezer at 116 Paine Ave. when the property's landlord was cleaning the house after the couple had moved out.

Ms. Pruitt of 2631 Scottwood Ave. is charged with aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.

Her bail is set at $1.9 million, and a trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 6.

Mr. Cervantes of 5324 Rector Dr. is charged with murder in Toledo Municipal Court and is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

Joe Cervantes, the infant's paternal grandfather, could not be reached for comment on the funeral.

A woman who answered the door at his South Toledo home Monday declined to comment.

Contact Casey Sumner at: or 419-724-6084.

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