The missing raptor is a beloved neighborhood gem. | Photo courtesy of Darla Murphy.
IDAHO FALLS – After one of three beloved dinosaur statues was stolen from a front yard, a family is offering a $200 reward for its safe return.
Tim and Darla Murphy, the owners of the statues, say one of their beloved raptors was stolen from their yard recently.
The decorations have become a neighborhood staple, with nearby neighbors often driving up to their home in Blackhawk Estates to see them, take pictures with them, and even make videos including them.
“We’ve had them for two or three years. We were on a road trip and saw them at a shop in Darby, Montana. And I thought, ‘oh, those are cool, those will look perfect in the sagebrush and with the leaves,’” says Darla. “So we loaded them in the truck and brought them home. As we were driving home, we stopped for gas, and people stopped to say, ‘Oh look at those dinosaurs! We need pictures with your dinosaurs!’ So they’ve been a hit from the get-go.”
Now, the Murphys are still trying to determine exactly when the statue furthest from the house went missing from their yard in Blackhawk Estates, but they know it was recently.
“It’s like anything, when somebody kind of helps themselves to your property, it’s a funny feeling I don’t know how to describe it,” says Darla. “I had to do a double take and thought, there’s supposed to be three raptors out there?”
The flyer to help find the missing dinosaur statue. | Darla Murphy
The Murphys believe the statue was most likely taken on the night of Oct. 4, as they had their sprinklers blown out on the third and remember seeing it then.
“It’s one of those things, like if you have a bunch of pictures on your wall, and you walk by it every day, and one day you look up and see that it’s not there, would you be able to swear when it went missing?” says Darla. “So maybe it’s been gone longer, I don’t think so.”
As soon as they realized it was gone, the Murphys made a police report to hopefully reunite with the beloved raptor.
“As soon as I found him missing, I put it on our neighborhood Facebook page, and everyone has been very kind in their response. We’ve had the neighborhood kids come up on their four-wheelers and want to get closer looks,” says Darla. “One day, the mailman was delivering mail and he had his window down, and he must’ve been asked where he was on his route, and he said, ‘I’m at the dinosaur house!’”
The most puzzling part of the disappearance is how the thieves were physically able to take the statue, which is approximately 3 1/2 feet tall x 5 feet long, from where it was welded into the ground.
“I actually have them very well secured back there,” says Darla. “I buried a couple of 4×6’s, and pounded that in with some rebar, like 18-inch rebar, and then welded on the square base and mounted them to the wood. The person that took this actually broke off those welds, so I’m pretty shocked. It was a hard get.”
If you have any information about the missing raptor statue, please contact the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 529-1200.
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