K9 statue stolen from Air Force veteran's grave in Buffalo, Minnesota
BUFFALO, Minn. (KMSP) - A Buffalo, Minnesota family is looking for answers after a statue was stolen from a veteran's grave site.
In 2009, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Rory Gavic was buried next to a statue of his beloved dog Allan. Then, on Sunday, his family noticed the statue was missing.
Now, emptiness fills the air at the spot where an 80-pound statue used to watch over the grave of Staff Sergeant Gavic.
“This is horrible, it’s sad. I mean, it hurts my family and we just want it back,” said Dave Larsen, Gavic’s cousin.
Gavic and his dog Allan were on three tours together in Iraq and Pakistan. They were a team and shared a special bond as they risked their lives to save others.
“Finding IEDs, finding explosives - things that would have killed people. And this dog and my cousin, they found it and they stopped it,” Larsen said.
But upon return, life was hard. Gavic had PTSD and took his own life. His mother couldn’t take the pain and also died from suicide. The pair is buried side by side with the statue of Allan serving as protector and offering comfort to family.
“Whoever took it stood on both of their graves to do it, and I just can’t get over that. It just breaks my heart that someone would do that,” Larsen said.
Larsen said the family believes the statue could have been taken sometime between Sept. 25 and Oct. 7.
“I don’t care about revenge, retribution - none of that. I just want the dog back; put it back, that’s all I could hope for is that we find it,” Larsen said.
So far investigators don't have any clues and haven't gotten any calls about the stolen statue. If you have any information about the statue, you're asked to call the Wright County sheriff's office.
The community has started a GoFundMe for the family to replace the statue.