- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Widdersheim's family denies abandoning her

Published: Sun, February 9, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

RELATED: Teddy Foltz-Tedesco remembered at service

By Ernie Brown JR.



Seeing Teddy for the last time
Audio clip
Knowledge of resources
Audio clip
Contact from the children
Audio clip

Family members of Shain P. Widdersheim remain steadfast in their denials they ever turned their backs on her during her troubles with Zaryl Bush.

In fact, they said it was Widdersheim who pushed the family away during a relationship with Bush that began in 2008.

Widdersheim, 33, was convicted on four counts of child endangering and a count of obstruction of justice for allowing Bush to abuse her twin sons and her 14-year-old son Teddy Foltz in what police and prosecutors say was constant abuse. Teddy died in January 2013. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Bush, 44, is serving a 33-years-to-life prison sentence for fatally beating Teddy, subjecting Teddy’s twin brothers to abuse and trying to get the brothers to cover up the crime.

Members of the Foltz family came to The Vindicator last week to clarify and debunk several statements Widdersheim made in an interview at the Mahoning County jail. The story appeared in the newspaper last Sunday.

They said they were appalled at how Widdersheim portrayed the family, especially when she indicated the family abandoned her and her sons.

Attending the interview were Widdersheim’s parents, Paul Foltz of Youngstown, Sara Foltz of Hubbard; her sister, Lilly Foltz of Hubbard; and her grandfather, John Shuey of Youngstown. Paul and Sara Foltz are divorced.

Widdersheim, a 1999 Brookfield High School graduate, said in her interview she and the boys planned to leave Bush in the summer of 2012 when Bush went to work. She said, however, Bush had someone watching her house all the time, and the escape plan failed to happen.

Her family, however, said Widdersheim and the boys attended a family member’s funeral in April 2012 without Bush.

“She knew very well we could have helped her,” Paul Foltz said. “But she never said anything to us [at that time] that she was having any problems.”

Shuey said, “She could have asked me for help at any time.”

Widdersheim said there was an unresolved family matter that caused a rift with her family. She lived in her car with the boys for 10 days. Bush offered her a place to stay until she could get back on her feet, Widdersheim said.

Lilly Foltz said, “It was her choice to stay with Zaryl,” and she chose him over her family.

Sara and Paul Foltz said the family supported Widdersheim when she got pregnant in high school by Shawn Tedesco, who is Teddy’s father. Sara Foltz said she was at Northside Medical Center when Teddy was born.

Tedesco said in a separate interview this week that he wanted to be in the birthing room for the birth of his son, but Widdersheim blocked him, and she also did the same when he wanted to see Teddy in the hospital before he died.

When Shain married Dallas Widdersheim Sr., the Foltz support continued through the birth of the twins. Sara Foltz said she helped take care of one of the twins, who was born with a congenital problem.

Sara Foltz said she never kicked her daughter out of the house in which Widdersheim was living in Hubbard. The house was in Sara Foltz’ name. Lilly Foltz said Widdersheim told their mother she was moving out of the house “because she didn’t want to live under your [Sara’s] thumb.”

Lilly Foltz added her sister called their mother repeatedly for help when Widdersheim was having difficulty caring for the three boys.

At some point, Widdersheim also lived in Hubbard with her mother.

Paul Foltz said he later found out that Widdersheim had moved to Creed Street in Struthers. He said she told him he should call her and stop in whenever he was in the city. When he did call her, however, she either would not answer, not return his call, or would say it was a “bad time” for him to stop by.

Sara Foltz added that it was Teddy who told her he lived at 533 Creed St. — Bush’s home.

Sara Foltz brought a copy of a certified letter from April Williams, a longtime friend of Widdersheim’s, who lived next door to her for six years when Widdersheim lived in Masury. Williams worked at a local domestic violence/rape crisis shelter as the shelter manager.

In Widdersheim’s interview, she said she had no knowledge of where to get help while in her abusive situation and did not know there were shelters available for her and her children. But in her letter, Williams says Widdersheim was “FULLY aware of her options.”

“When Teddy was about 18 months old [Widdersheim] moved our of her moms [sic]house for the FIRST time,” Williams wrote. “During that time she spent countless hours at my house and even watched my children on occasion. ...I have had COUNTLESS conversations with not only Shain but my children and several of their other friends about the Cycle of Violence. I’ve taught them things to watch for and how to determine if you are in an abusive relationship and ways to get out of that relationship.”

She continued: “During one of those conversations I remember clearly Shain saying to me that she would NEVER let a man hit on her! Now giving her the benifit [sic] of the doubt, its [sic]possible that she may have forgotten all of the steps that I taught her all those years ago. So my next question to her would be, why didnt [sic]she ask me again during the many conversations we had in Facebook private messages (that I can provide) from Feb. 20, 2011 until Jan. 23, 2013 when Teddy was in the hospital? (none of which she expressed any fear or desire to leave, just the opposite!)”

Lilly Foltz said her sister also knew of at least two shelters where she could have gone to escape the abuse from Bush.

Sara Foltz also has a copy of Widdersheim’s journal with entries from March to June 2010 — a period Bush and Widdersheim were seeing one another.

In the journal, Widdersheim admits leaving the boys with Bush at his home on Creed Street on several occasions while she was taking classes at Choffin Career & Technical Center to become a state-tested nursing assistant.

Widdersheim also says in her journal that on one occasion, a caseworker from Trumbull County Children Services came to her home to investigate a complaint the twins had made against Bush in March 2010.

She said the caseworker talked to the twins, but left after a 15-minute interview and told Widdersheim the case was closed.

Paul Foltz said the last time he saw Teddy alive was in the hospital, three days before he died. Widdersheim told him Teddy had suffered a massive stroke and was not expected to live.

He added that Widdersheim and Bush had already made funeral arrangements and set up the cremation for Teddy, which the family did not know anything about.

“Shain banned us from seeing Teddy and the twins,” Paul Foltz said.

Widdersheim said she had been sexually, physically, verbally and mentally abused from the time she was a child.

Sara and Paul Foltz said Widdersheim and her siblings, as children, were grounded, made to stand in a corner, and on rare occasions spanked.

Sara Foltz said the first time Widdersheim claimed any sexual molestation was when she was in junior-high school. Widdersheim said a family member molested her, but she revealed that information after her alleged molester died. Sara Foltz said she got professional counseling for Widdersheim.

They denied ever physically, verbally or mentally abusing Widdersheim.

The Foltz family is involved in a legal battle with Mahoning County Children Services to gain custody of the twins, who are now in foster care. They are also fighting children services to gain the ability to visit the twins.


1SamCoon93(13 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Finally, truth. I was there Shain, you're my aunt, shame on you for lying. Thank you, Grandma Sara, Lilly, Miss April, and Paul for telling the truth.

Suggest removal:

2papa1(711 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

from what I gather from this story it sounds as if teddys' mother kept her mouth shut about the abuse of her sons in exchange for security that she thought bush provided for her. if true, she has to be the worst mother I could imagine. to let this miscreant monster do what he did to those boys she should have gotten life. and hopefully in prison bush is woken up every morning with a brutal beating before breakfast!!

Suggest removal:

3rsclutch8605(1 comment)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I have known this family for almost 13 years and I am very glad that truth has come out. Shain has done nothing but lie and deserves to be where she is. She knew how to get out, she knew she had a place to go, her family even bought her a house hoping she would leave Bush and she didn't. Its a shame that the family has to fight for the twins to be out of foster care but if children services would of done something they wouldn't have to be there! She has always stood up for the person she is with and pushed away the family no matter how right the family was. Shain can lie to the papers and anyone else she does not know but the truth is she is trying to get out of it and obtain pity in which I pray she gets NONE.

Suggest removal:

4CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

So sick of this in the paper every day ! Yes Shain is to blame as well as Bush for her sons death. But the father should have paid his child support and then pressed it with the court to see his son. Simple ! But he didnt. He was a bum and not a real father caring for his son. If he was a real father he would have paid for the support of his son. He was his parent as well. But he left the burden on her for the sons only support financially. Then cries that he couldnt see his son. `

Suggest removal:

5JoeFromHubbard(1389 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I am tired of seeing this story too.

Far too much coverage.

Suggest removal:

6Attis(991 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Methinks this (dysfunctional) family doth protest too much; translation: the abused and abandoned mother is telling the truth and these folks, especially the sperm-donor "father", are driven by guilt to fabricate an alternative. Let the mother out of jail to care for her two sons far away from an murdering misogynist and neglectful family.

Suggest removal:

7SamCoon93(13 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

We never neglected Shain, she lived in a house my grandmother paid for, and then she met Bush, let him burn their toys and belongings and moved away from us, and when we tried to see her, she pushed us away. She had babysitters when needed, and before Bush, we all were there for each other, she helped me while I was pregnant and everything. No one ever pushed her out of the family, we tried to pull her back in. She was the one that pushed. Her journal even says so. She even called the twins liars to their face when my grandmother confronted her about them sayings they were abused, so no, she does not deserve my cousins. They need to come home to their family, and she needs to stay in jail. She let it happen to her boys and did nothing. She even got mad at me at my grandfathers funeral when I was talking to the boys while she wasn't right next to them and Teddy started to tell me what was going on. If you want to take an assistant murderer's side and not see the truth, then whatever floats your boat. But don't say nasty things about my family.

Suggest removal:

8CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Sorry but i think those twins would be better off in someone elses care and not the family ! They need a loving home and a stable enviroment. Shawn had his chance and gave it away years ago, so did the family !

Suggest removal:

9YtownParent(472 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

Sorry if anyone is sick of hearing about this. It should remain in the news daily. Keep sending the message loud and clear to all single parents (women & men) that if you let your significant other get away with abusing your children you will suffer the highest criminal penalty a judge can give out. The family is going to defend themselves, any family would. But maybe they should be talking more about what they may wish they had done instead of what they did do that didn't stop the abuse. Not sure if they've had those thoughts or not, but I now have.

If it ever happens to my family member or a neighbor, I won't be hitting the button to call the cops or children's services first. I'll be hitting the record button and making sure there is evidence being captured before calling the authorities. I'll make sure I make a copy to post online before handing the original over too.

Suggest removal:

10CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

No it shouldnt be in the paper every day !! People are sick of it already ! Let the boy rest in peace ! The family just likes the publicity and looking for money thru a foundations now. What next will they come up with ! They begged the Methodist church in hubbard enough times for money or clothes, they get sick of it too !

Suggest removal:

11CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

There have been plenty of young children unfort. that have been killed by parents in this county and NEVER has it been so publicized as much as this ! The family just wont quit and let it go due to their selfish reasons and quilt !

Suggest removal:

12Roger_Thornhill(903 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

These people are nauseating. Why is this even in the Vindy?

And the article is poorly done too. In the approximately 35 years I have been reading the paper, this is the most poorly done story I have ever read in the Vindy.

Suggest removal:

13gleekgal(50 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I agree with you countrygirl51 !! The real father had his chance - dead beat piece of ---- !!! The boys are with the MOST wonderful and loving foster parents !! The boys are doing great and are so grateful and content ! As for that momma of theirs, she deserves 33 to life as far as the rest of the world is concerned it may as well of been her hands that murdered that precious baby !! I rebuke them all in the name of God !! They are all evil !!

Suggest removal:

14breezeyinpa(10 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

I wish people would get their facts straight before typing out nonsense from their "fake" names. Shawn is NOT the twins father her ex husband is so how is he a deadbeat on their part? The facts are out there and are not hidden. Also the remarks about Shawn not paying child support are as stupid and ignorant as they come. Do you need to see the proof that he paid??? If he didn't pay why is there a closed account in Trumbull county with a zero balance on it? Next time before you make your slanderous remarks hiding behind a computer screen you need to get your facts straight because I am honestly laughing at your lack of class and ignorance.

Suggest removal:

15CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

And we are laughing at YOU because no one said he was the father of the twins ! Just that he is a deadbeat father, otherwise he would have went to court for the rights to see his son. Then, First he says he had no idea of the abuse then he says he did, which one is it. Family has some real issues !

Suggest removal:

16CountryGirl51(215 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

And did the father know or didnt he. He says the family knew of the abuse and tried to get help over years time. Well here on his post he says he didnt know, which is it ? Lies all around, cover up all around !

Teddy's Law The answer to your question Christy is no I didn't get to see him regularly. I never had enough money to go into court to get visitation because I support my other children. His mother would pull him in an out of my families life. Sad to say but I was waiting until he was 18 to establish a relationship with him. When his mother could not brainwash him anymore. But know that I am not perfect I made mistakes in his life. But I am man enough to admit my wrongs. But his mother never admitted hers. She played the victim until the very end. She even lies to him and said I didn't want him to have my last name. That's why as a tribute to Teddy I made his name Theodore A. Foltz-Tedesco. So the answer is I did not know he was being abused.

And before the family runs their mouth any more about getting in someones business. As Shawn states, this page is a open page

Suggest removal:

17breezeyinpa(10 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

So I see the issue now is if Shawn knew about the abuse or not and the answer is no he did not. Maybe some of his wording can be misconstrued as he did but he definitely did not. I asked if you if you needed proof of the fact he paid child support and all of a sudden no one is spreading the lie that he did not, and of that I'm glad because coming onto a public site and spreading hurtful lies that can put a negative light onto an individual Is actually a term called slander and can be punished in a court of law.

Suggest removal:

18SamCoon93(13 comments)posted 1 year, 4 months ago

So my cousins are with such a "Loving" family. Hmm, a family that walked out on them after the divorce when they were little. A family that refuses them until they had a DNA test done because they didn't want them. Their own father doesn't want them, even now. Yes, that MUST be a true loving family, I guess everyone else was wrong about what it truly is. Shawn didn't know about the abuse, and I won't make excuses for him, because I don't really know him. My family has NEVER, I repeat NEVER begged at a church for anything, and the foundations and fundraisers are going to shelters to help battered women, men and children. NONE of it goes in ANYONE'S pocket. We are trying to save others from abuse that my baby cousin went through. This article was a response to clear up the lies that Shain reported in the last article. There is even pictures to show that she and Zaryl burned the kids toys and belongings before they left, not to mention us being told to back off or we were going to jail. All of us. We tried every legal thing, but to continue further would have resulted in us going to jail, if that had happened, no one would have called and told them that Teddy didn't die of the TEN different stories Shain told everyone. SO, the negative comments about my family from behind the fake usernames is not needed, because you don't know the facts. Good day to you all.

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2015 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes