Earlier this month, a Louie the Lumberjack statue inside the Walkup Skydome was decapitated. Facility Services staff members discovered the headless statue in the morning of Oct. 12.
The statues at the Skydome were first donated to NAU by the Lumberjack Café in 1973 following their construction in the 1960s by Prewitt Fiberglass in California. The statues were then moved to the Skydome, one placed inside and one outside and have been there since 1979.
NAUPD sergeant Joe Tritschler explained that the statue had been temporarily moved due to construction within the dome.
“From my understanding, it was taken out of the dome for the scoreboard renovations at the south end of the end zone," said Tritschler.
NAU assistant athletic director Randy Press was saddened by the news and hopes whoever stole the head returns it.
“We are very disappointed that the Louie statue was disturbed while it was in storage as we completed renovations to enhance the Skydome,” said Press. “We are hopeful that someone returns or has some information regarding the missing pieces of this iconic statue so it can placed in its permanent home after the facility enhancements are completed.”
The statue was being stored in the Facility Services area just south of the Skydome, and it was there that whoever took Louie's head struck. Details so far are few, as the exact date of the crime is unknown. Police speculate that it took place sometime between Sept. 21 and Oct. 12.
Tritschler explained that this might be a Homecoming prank.
“It could be a prank. We're not really sure, but always when it comes to damage to state property you know sometimes ... Homecoming may play a part," Tritschler said.
The investigation into finding Louie's head is still ongoing. However, Tritschler stated there aren't any current leads as to where it might be or who the culprit is and what their motive was.
"At this point, we don't have any investigative leads. There's no information that we're finding on social media that someone has it or they intend to do something with it," Tritschler said. "We're not exactly sure what the person's motive is in taking a portion of the statue.”
Tritschler also explained that NAUPD is trying to use social media to keep on eye out for any clues as to where the head might be located and asked anyone to report if they have any information on Louie's missing head. He not only wants to retrieve the head, but also wants to hold whoever vandalized the statue accountable.
“We don't like to see this, and it's the taxpayers and ultimately the students that kind of pay for this, so we really want to help prevent these types of crimes," Tritschler said. "Regarding followup, we are looking at social media and waiting for some information to come in at this point. Like I said, currently, we don't have any solid information on who could have done this, but we would like to find out and we would like to hold him accountable."
NAUPD is still investigating and hopes to solve the mystery of Louie's decapitation soon.