Baby Grace buried in Hillcrest Cemetery - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Baby Grace buried in Hillcrest Cemetery

Proposed headstone for Baby Grace (Source: Prayers for Baby Grace Facebook page) Proposed headstone for Baby Grace (Source: Prayers for Baby Grace Facebook page)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Nearly three weeks since Baby Grace was reported missing in a Socastee creek, she's now in her final resting place at Hillcrest Cemetery.

"I hope that by having that service people feel a lot better and know that the right thing was done," Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said.

Hillcrest said Baby Grace was the last baby to join the current infant section at the front of the cemetery. She's now surrounded by other babies taken too soon, such as Baby Boy Horry.

The Horry County Coroner's Office is the legal overseer of Grace Carlson Santa Cruz's burial site.

Even though Grace's mother, Sarah Toney is charged with homicide by child abuse in the five-month-old's death, Edge said she's next of kin, so she had authority over Baby Grace's body.

Edge said the man who came forward as Grace's father, Patrick Olberg, isn't listed on the birth certificate.

The coroner's office had to get Toney to sign her permission for the office to conduct the funeral and burial.

Goldfinch Funeral Home held the service for free, which is the policy for all infants under one year old.

Edge said several police officers, Olberg and some other people attended the private service.

Baby Grace is still missing a permanent marker though. The one at her site now is only temporary and won't last long, Edge said. He said the family couldn't afford one.

"She deserves to have a nice headstone," said Stephanie Cutler. "She's had a short life and such a tragic way of going that she deserves to have something nice in her memory." 

Hillcrest is collecting the $2,000 needed for a permanent marker.

Cutler has already created the Prayers for Baby Grace Facebook page, so she plans to use that to get Baby Grace that headstone the right way. She said GoFundMe accounts have popped up with questionable intentions. As of Friday afternoon,  the Prayers for Baby Grace Facebook page states $700 of the $2,000 has been collected.

"People can make their donations directly to Hillcrest instead of going to a third party, so everybody knows exactly where the money is going," she said. "So using the Facebook page, I feel comfortable saying this is a legitimate place where you can make your donations."

Hillcrest said it will take six to eight weeks for the headstone to come in once an order can be placed. In the meantime, people can still stop to pay their respects.

"I just pray that God keeps her safe in his arms now," said Rick Ciano, who visits Baby Grace's grave site daily. "That's all I can do."

Donations to Baby Grace's headstone fund can be mailed or delivered to:
Hillcrest Cemetery
1000 Highway 544 
Conway, SC 29526 

Donations can also be given over the phone with a credit card at (843)-347-4909.

Hillcrest says they received a $1000 donation on Saturday, already had $800, and a company agreed to pay the balance as of Wednesday, December 9.

Click the link to go to the Prayers for Baby Grace Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1642921422613718/

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