The baby Jesus statue disappeared so long ago that 17-year-old Lucas Urbaniak and his younger sister barely remembered how it looked as it lay in its manger outside their Inverness home.
But eight years after someone stole the statue – leaving an empty beer can in its place – the Urbaniaks have their centerpiece back.
The blue-eyed, blond-haired Jesus had been sitting in the Hoffman Estates police department property room for years. The efforts of police Property Room managers Chris Moore and Stacey Kenost to locate the statue’s owners finally paid off this week.
The Urbaniaks showed up at the police station Wednesday after hearing from a friend who read an article in a Polish newspaper about the department’s efforts to find its owners.
“It was in perfect condition,” Lucas Urbaniak said.
Urbaniak said his family has put the statue back in the manger, but they plan to bring their centerpiece inside at night, until they dismantle the whole nativity scene in a couple of weeks.
Next year, they may tie baby Jesus in place, Urbaniak said.