Baby Jesus found damaged beyond repair
EUREKA SPRINGS -- The statue of Baby Jesus taken from Basin Spring Park has been recovered, but it has been damaged beyond repair.
Stealing the statue has become an annual tradition here, but it is usually recovered intact. The Eureka Springs Police Department received an anonymous call Monday from someone who said the statue was in the basement of a burned-out building on Kansas Street.
The fiberglass statue was partially broken, and was covered in graffiti. The sorority which places the nativity scene in Basin Park said it cost $375.
Detective Morris Pate said the anonymous caller said two boys told her they knew who had taken the statue, but they would not disclose a name. Pate said the department is still pursuing some inquiries, and he thinks there is a good chance that the perpetrators will brag about their caper.
Pate also said protecting the statue against pranksters takes a lot of effort for the department, and they have had to respond to interview requests from television stations in Fayetteville and in Springfield, Mo. He said the ESPD could focus on more important matters if people would leave the nativity alone. "If they want to find the Baby Jesus, they should go to church, not to Basin Park," he said.