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Mom, ex-boyfriend charged in death of Teddy Foltz

Published: Fri, March 8, 2013 @ 12:01 a.m.


Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains discusses the indictments handed up against Zaryl Bush and Shain Widdersheim in the death of her son Teddy Foltz, 14.




A Mahoning County grand jury handed up a litany of indictments against a Struthers man and his ex-girlfriend accused in the murder of the woman’s 14-year-old son and abuse of her other two children.

The grand jury Thursday indicted Zaryl G. Bush, 43, of 533 Creed St., on charges of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, six counts of endangering children, two counts of intimidation and one count of tampering with evidence.

His ex-girlfriend, Shain Widdersheim, 32, of 28 Creed St., Struthers, the mother of Teddy A. Foltz, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of child endangering and one count of obstructing justice.

Bush also originally was charged with rape, but the grand jury declined to indict on that charge. County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said there was insufficient evidence to support the charge.

Charges against the two are in relation to the killing of Teddy, who was described as a short, slight 14-year-old boy who often visited Bush’s home. He dutifully did chores there with his 10-year-old twin brothers, and sometimes did favors for an elderly couple nearby, authorities said.

Gains said it is believed that Bush beat Teddy sometime in January, leading to his death, and that his mother failed to protect him from the physical abuse.

Widdersheim brought her son to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in Boardman on Jan. 21 with head injuries so severe that the boy immediately was transferred to St. Elizabeth Health Center. He died in the hospital Jan. 26.

Police arrested and charged Bush on Jan. 29, and Widdersheim was arrested and charged the next day.

Bush is in the county jail on a $1 million bond, and Widdersheim is jailed on a $100,000 bond.

The indictment also includes charges related to Widdersheim’s twin sons. Bush and Widdersheim face charges of intimidation and endangering children in relation to the two boys. Gains said the charges state the couple abused the boys or failed to protect them from abuse.

If convicted of all charges, Bush could be sentenced to 41 years to life in prison. Widdersheim could be sentenced to 31 years to life in prison if she is convicted on all charges.

Gains said there also could be additional charges filed against Bush and Widdersheim in relation to the two younger children.

A family friend told The Vindicator that the family was certain Widdersheim knew about the alleged abuse happening not only to Teddy, but also to her other children.

The family friend said a grandmother of the children had the children tell Widdersheim about Bush physically abusing them more than two years ago, but Widdersheim refused to hear it.

Neighbors have said Widdersheim’s children did not socialize and were discouraged from speaking to neighbors.


1nojimbo(286 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Now if we can only get a clear account of who called the police in on this. From what I've read, the police started investigating TWO DAYS AFTER the boy was first taken to Akron Children's. He was apparently in such bad shape when arriving there that they sent him to St. E's. Did no one at either Akron Children's or St. E's IMMEDIATELY call the police about this boy's condition? Apparently, again based on what I've read, a member of the boy's family contacted police after he had been in the hospital for at least two days. Also, when will a grand jury or some legitimate out of town agency investigate the work of Mahoning County Children's Services in this case. They were apparently alerted several times over the course of months (a year?) that there was apparent abuse and/or neglect. we have public employees who may have contributed to a child's death through dereliction of duty. Justice demands that there work on this case be thoroughly investigated.

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2NoBS(2758 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

A mother knowingly allowing her child to be harmed, never mind beaten to death, while she does nothing, is the ultimate betrayal. Widdersheim deserves nothing less than a slow, painful death.

Bush also deserves a slow, painful death for what he did to a mild, inoffensive child.

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3papa1(711 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

when convicted, bush should be killed within 72 hours. he's a repulsive miscreant who tortured a beautiful and loved little boy to death. he should not be put to sleep like a beloved pet. fire up old sparky or hang him. he deserves to suffer. may he rot in hell!!

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4dees2cents(38 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I personally think that he should have to be in jail for awhile before his death, that way he can experience the same horrific treatment that this poor child had to face at his hands.

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5Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

These 2 animals should get the death penalty within a month. Useless slithering cockroaches.

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6dawn421(265 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

they have all these charges now but in the end all will be dropped but the involuntary manslaughter and a deal reached. just watch, that is how they do it. so everyone will let the boy down yet again.

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7Attis(1128 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

This is International Women's Day, a good day to outlaw misogyny and severely punish misogynists like Bush. Put him away for life, or better yet, do to him what he has been doing to the children and their mother for years.

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8papa1(711 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

any childrens services worker who was aware of this situation and dragged their feet or did nothing should get serious jail time. we need an investigation! this is totally unacceptable and outrageous! don't let this childs death be for nothing.

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9DwightK(1535 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand why she still had custody of these children when so many teachers and neighbors reported signs of abuse on Teddy.

I don't understand single moms who let boyfriends abuse their children. Is having a man really that important?

We have to get a handle on situations such as this.

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10mamasita(5 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I do not think that anything will be done to CSB workers that was involved in this case when in Trumbull County there was a 9 month old baby that was RAPED right under their noses and then falsified documents and not one employee was fired! Not one person ever took responsibility for the RAPE of that baby! As a matter of fact they gave a million reasons why they were not responsible!

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11walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

You are on target and pose the best queston! "Is having a man that important?" My answer is going to be brutally tough and honest. YES! This man is not the father of the chldren. This woman was allowing herself to be a depository for this man's semen and his other gratification. I would also think that she was using him as a meal ticket, or drugs, or her gratification so that she would not have to sacrifice in raising her kids. She looks in the mirror, sees a heifer and wonders who would want to live with her or even touch her. Little self-esteem or self-worth. So, she find's someone who has no standards or morality so she can get her satisfaction at the very expense of her offspring. I'm not sure how much blame you can put on authorities when the slob mother isn't willing to protect her children. They could investigate, she could lie or deflect blame, and the harm continues. Courts are reluctant to take children away from their mother. But, when you combine free will with pure selfishness, pure evil is the result. In this case, it cost a young man his life.

Now, I have no idea if this is International Woman's Day but we need to start rasing our daughters better. They need to be taught that if a man raises his hand to a woman or abuses them, they need to kick him square in the schmekel and have him carted away. They also need to be taught to keep their legs together as there are males out there that will hump anything that walks including if they are fat and unattractive. AND, I would hope we would raise our sons better so that they treat women with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

There; that's the truth and anyone that denies it is fooling themselves.

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12dawn421(265 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

these women that chose a man over the babies need to be locked up. the csb workers need to be fired but we all know it wont happen. and any police figure wont be in trouble either. this is my point, nobody is held accountable for the kids. it is all omg afterwards. watch and see people, the charges will be reduced and the drunk Paul Gaines will make a deal.

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13Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago


"There would be a lot more outrage if Teddy were a beagle."

A child was murdered dog and you post that. And people should be outraged, whether it's a innocent human being/child or a innocent animal. People don't go around killing innocent human beings and innocent animals in case you don't know that. What could a child or animal ever do to you that you have to kill it?

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14ELJenkins(9 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The article regarding the director of Trumbull county CSB stated that in 80% of child abuse cases, they don't pull children from homes. He followed that with "we are the agency that helps people in hard times."

Excellent case of where this "helping" leads. Disgusting. Both agencies need an overhaul. Neither are protecting anything other than their pensions.

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