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Statue memorializing young accident victim remains missing

Three-and-a-half-year-old Jack Larson couldn’t go to sleep without his favorite stuffed elephant “Alfie.” Now Larson’s grandparents, Donna and Jim Larson are losing sleep over a replica statue of the same elephant.

The three-foot tall, 200-pound woodcarving that memorialized Jack after his death in May of 2009 was stolen from the Larson’s pole barn in Merrifield earlier this week. Though several days have passed since the theft was reported the Larsons have received no information about who might have took the memorial.

“That stuffed elephant was the one thing that was close to him and this statue is equally as close to us,” said Donna Larson. “It was a memorial for Jack and wouldn’t have any meaning to anyone else.

“It’s really just a very hurtful thing that someone would take it.”

Displayed at the entrance to the Larson’s home on Sorenson Lake Road during the summer months, Larson said the statue was stored in the barn during the winter. The statue was the only thing taken from the barn, place behind four-wheelers and power tools, Larson said.

“We haven’t found that anything else was taken and are still not sure how someone got in there,” Larson said.

But the biggest question behind the theft remains why?

“That sculpture was quite an emotional thing for me as well as the family,” said Pat Scrimshaw, who created the woodcarving for the Larson’s and said he will make a new one if the original is not found. “A lot of sanding and a lot of work was put in to it to make it special and really memorialize Jack in that sculpture.

“I hope they find it because sure I could make a new one, but I could never duplicate what was created. I just don’t understand why someone would take that away from them and away from Jack.”

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.

“We’d like to know why (someone took it) and if they just bring it back we won’t press charges,” said Larson. “We just really want it back.”

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

JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or Follow her on Twitter at (@jessi_pierce).