Stolen cross blow to griev­ing fam­ily

Mo­ti­va­tion a mys­tery

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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