The National Trail Parks and Recreation District is still looking for a missing Cinderella cutout from Veteran’s Park.
NTPRD Director, Leann Castillo said she believes the princess was stolen sometime over the holiday weekend. The wooden post to which the life-size Plexiglas cutout was attached was also missing and the hole in the ground was filled in with dirt.
“So many kids love it,” she said. “It’s sad because they’re upset.”
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Madi Burnham, 7, and her brother, 9-year-old Tanner Burnham and their great-grandmother Edith West were at the park on Thursday — it’s a family favorite.
“The first thing they said was, ‘We want to come to the pumpkin park,’” West said.
Madi Burnham remembered the last time the cutout was taken and said she was sad to see Cinderella had been stolen again.
Tanner was ‘quite mad’ that theft continues to be a problem.
“People steal from this property all the time — left and right,” he said. “I think it’s just not right.”
The cutout was added to the park in 2014 to complement the pumpkin carriage that’s been in the park since the 1960’s.
A grant from the Wilson-Sheehan Foundation paid for the Cinderella statue and for a carousel horse that was also added to the pumpkin carriage.
This is the second time Cinderella has been stolen. She was taken in Feb. 2015 and later found in an alley next to a gas station on East Main Street.
2015 REPORT: Cinderella goes missing in Veteran’s park
Within the last year, the cutout has also been vandalized — shot at with a BB gun and Cinderella’s eyes have been burnt out with a blow torch.
Castillo said it’s upsetting that people continue to damage the addition to the park.
“That park has a special place in a lot of people’s heart,” she said. Castillo mentioned the countless wedding and dance photos that have been taken next to the park’s pumpkin carriage and the little girls who wear their princess costumes to visit Cinderella.
She said a community member has offered to paint another Cinderella if the original is not found. Castillo said the generosity speaks to how much the community cares for the park.
The cutout is worth about $700, according to a police report.
The report states police currently don’t have a suspect in the theft.
If anyone sees the cutout, she asks they either drop it off at the NTPRD office, the Springfield Police Division or at the park. They can also call NTPRD at 937-328-7275.
“We won’t ask questions — we just want her back,” Castillo said.