Stolen cross blow to grieving family
Motivation a mystery
A sacred memorial to two Porirua boys killed in Grays Rd was stolen last month, the third such theft in the Wellington region since April.
A carved wooden cross bearing Nathan Laurenson and Udo Fourie’s names was installed after the teenagers died in a car crash four years ago.
On about Sunday, June 23, the cross was pulled out of the ground with its concrete base.
Nathan’s parents, Christine and Brent Laurenson, now live in Marlborough, but keenly feel the cross’s loss.
It was especially painful because it came just weeks before the crash anniversary on July 12.
‘‘ Every time we go back to Wellington, without fail we go to Grays Rd.
‘‘That’s where our son took his last breath on Earth. It’s more sacred than where his ashes are buried,’’ Mr Laurenson said.
‘‘It’s very important to all the family and all their friends. People go there all the time.’’
Police had been informed about the theft, but had no leads, Mr Laurenson said.
In May a roadside cross for Deane Wilson was stolen from Churton Park, and in April the Upper Hutt memorial cross to Alisha Goodall disappeared.
The same people might be behind the thefts, Mr Laurenson said.
‘‘There’s something going on. I’m convinced that the same people are probably doing it,’’ he said.
‘‘ Is there someone out there with a sick fetish for crosses, or who’s really anti-crosses?’’
Weeks before the theft, a talkback radio station debated whether roadside crosses were a distraction, which might have spurred the disappearance, he said.
Nathan Laurenson was a Whitireia student and the Grays Rd cross was carved by polytech students.
Whitireia has offered to carve another cross, but Mr Laurenson said he wanted the original back.
‘‘These students at Whitireia put their heart and soul into it. That’s the bit that really gets to us.’’
Udo’s mother, Elsie Fourie, said the cross also served as a reminder for motorists to drive safely.
‘‘It’s just someone who has no respect for anybody else.’’
Both families have campaigned tirelessly for road safety since their sons died.
The Laurensons released a DVD about their grief, The Ripple Effect, and the Fouries speak with young offenders about safe driving every three months .
Any information about the cross’s whereabouts can be passed to Porirua police, 238 1400 or anonymously to Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.
Taken: A cross commemorating crash victims Nathan Laurenson and Udo Fourie was stolen from its Grays Rd site three weeks ago. Pictured in 2010 with the cross are Christine and Brent Laurenson, and Elsie and Johan Fourie.