102-year-old elk statue stolen from cemetery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are searching for a large bronze statue stolen from Forest Hill Cemetery last week. The statue was donated by Elk’s Lodge #27 in the early 1900s. The group is still around today.

“It’s sad to know someone doesn’t care enough about history, forget the monetary value,” lodge member Tracie Wells said.

Back in 1912 when the statue was erected at Forest Hill Midtown Cemetery, the elks wanted a place for their members to go when they didn’t have money to be buried.

The 102-year-old statue still stood guard over those graves, but it disappeared last week, sawed off with nothing left but the hooves.

“Your heart just sank,” said Todd Van Beck with the cemetery. “A cemetery is a reverence for the dead.”

Police found shavings and a saw blade near the statue, but a security camera revealed even more. Pickup trucks were seen going into the cemetery around 6 p.m. when there was still daylight. One of the trucks had a cover hiding its possible contents.

Cemetery operators believe the elk was hidden in the back of one of those trucks.

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