MARYSVILLE — He seemed a happy enough child, a toy sailboat in his right hand, one foot perched atop a boulder, the other leg perpetually floating in air.
He wore the same pair of shorts in all weather, silently greeting passersby near the Marysville waterfront.
A couple of years back, someone stole his sailboat.
Some time in late February, the boy vanished, too.
It could be another case of thieves intent on selling bronze for scrap, police said.
“It breaks my heart,” said Foy Cordner, a member of the Marysville Soroptimist International club that donated the statue of the boy to the city after it opened Ebey Waterfront Park in 2005.
The club had perhaps 15 members when it raised more than $3,000 to share the innocent, carefree image of childhood. Less than a decade later, its membership has more than tripled.
The club merely wanted to add beauty to the town, Cordner said.
Fellow Soroptimist member Louise Alexander-Way remembers the initiative Cordner took and the energy she spent working with others to make the statue a reality.
“And now the only thing left is a foot,” Alexander-Way said.
The case of the missing statue remains under investigation, Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said.
It could be cut up and sold as scrap metal, end up in someone’s back yard or sold online, he said.
“We don’t really have any way of knowing at this point, but we do hope to find out soon,” Lamoureux said.
When it comes to scrap metal theft, nothing, it seems, is sacred, nor has there been much concern for public safety.
In recent years, thieves in Snohomish County have stolen church bells, brass fire hose rings, funeral urns, bronze vases from grave sites, catalytic converters from cars, copper wire from the Snohomish PUD and manhole covers and sewer grates.
“In this day and age, if they want it, they take it,” Marysville parks director Jim Ballew said.
The parks department planted shrubs and holly around the statue to discourage theft. The figure was anchored in stone. It measured 4 feet from head to foot and was 55 inches wide from the boat’s prow to the boy’s outstretched toes.
Parks officials believe the theft occurred between Feb. 21 and 24. The park’s proximity to Highway 529 and I-5 might have made it a tempting target, he said.
The parks department will wait for police to finish their investigation before deciding what, if anything, to do next. Any tips about the missing statue can be shared with Marysville police Detective Darryn Wiersma at 360-363-8350.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.