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Statue memorializing young accident victim stolen

A woodcarving that evoked memories of 3 1/2-year-old Jack Larson, the boy who died in a traffic death in Merrifield in May of 2009, has been stolen from the pole barn of the victim’s grandparents.

Donna Larson, the boy’s grandmother, said Wednesday the woodcarving had been stored away during the winter and the theft of the 200-300-pound elephant was discovered last weekend.

“We couldn’t believe it, that somebody would actually take this,” Larson said. “It doesn’t makes sense. It’s very hurtful.”

During the summer months the statue, which represents a favorite stuffed animal of Jack’s, was displayed at the entrance to property Donna and Jim Larson own on Sorenson Lake Road.

“He couldn’t go to sleep without that little stuffed elephant,” Larson said of her late grandson.

Jack Larson was the son of Kory and Becky Larson of rural Brainerd. The boy was killed on County Road 3 after being struck by a minivan driven by Sherman Frederick of Crosslake. Before hitting the child, the minivan had passed several stopped vehicles on the right-hand side shoulder of the road.

Frederick was found guilty of criminal vehicular homicide and a lesser and included charge of careless driving in 2011.

The woodcarving is a depiction of an elephant sitting on a stump that has the name “Jack” carved on it. It is about three feet tall.

Anyone with information about the woodcarving is asked to call the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office at 829-4749.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed on Twitter at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860