Someone needs penance.
After five days of investigation by Rome City's town marshal and the Noble County Sheriff's Department, the Our Lady of Grace statue was returned to Our Lady, Mother of Mercy Center north of Rome City, according to a news release from the Catholic group. The statue was recovered at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday after an anonymous tip led the town marshal to the statue.
Center Executive Director Sheri McBride said in the release that the center is “eternally grateful" to police for the statue's return. "We are relieved that it has been found in pristine condition and we look forward to returning it to its proper place.”
The center will use money collected through a GoFundMe campaign to buy a replacement statue for upgraded security, and if anything is left, a statue of St. Joseph.
The center is situated on grounds with a springs that Native Americans revered as holy. After serving as a place for healing springs the property changed hands several times. The Franciscan Brothers Minor move onto the property in 2013 and hopes are to make it a retreat center.
The investigation is ongoing into who broke the Eighth Commandment. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Rome City Town Marshal at 1-260-854-3113 or the Noble County Sheriff's Office at 1-260-636-2182.