Grieving family sickened by theft of shrine to dad

PUBLISHED: 12:12 26 April 2010 | UPDATED: 12:12 26 April 2010

John Ehlert

John Ehlert


IPSWICH: The family of a man who was electrocuted say they are sickened after thieves stole a shrine to him and erected a hurtful message.

Johnathan Ehlert, 30, was killed at a substation in Ransomes Way on April 14 and days later a shrine was set up at the site.

It contained loving messages from friends and family including letters from Mr Ehlert’s two children Zoe, eight, and Reece, two.

But on Tuesday Mr Ehlert’s family discovered that the shrine had been stolen and in it’s place was a wooden crucifix with the word “justice” and drawings of electricity bolts on it.

Mr Ehlert’s mother Denise Collins said: “We are absolutely sickened and heartbroken.

“My two grand daughters are in tears – they wrote letters expressing their love for their dad and can’t understand why anyone would do this.

“If people had a beef with John, then fair enough, but there’s no need to take it out on his family.

“It just goes to show that there are some sick people out there. They even stole Teddy bears which had been placed there.”

Mr Ehlert, a former Holywells High School pupil, leaves his partner, Kerri Velzian, their children – Zoe, eight, and Reece, two – as well as two other brothers, Simon and Tony, and sister Sammy.

Mrs Collins added that she was considering reporting the matter to the police but urged those responsible to return items from the shrine.

She added: “I would say to whoever did this – if you have a heart – just return the items.

“You can leave them on our doorstep. That would be a tiny piece of consolation for us.”

Mr Ehlert’s younger brother, Mark Vince, who helped while Mr Ehlert was on fire at the substation, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of burglary.

The 24-year-old has been bailed to return to Ipswich police station on Friday, June 4.

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