Stolen cross re­cov­ered

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

A me­mo­rial cross stolen from Grays Rd was found in a river last week by an 11-year-old Cam­borne boy. The cross, which went miss­ing on June 23, com­mem­o­rated two teenagers, Udo Fourie and Nathan Lau­ren­son, who died in a car crash there in 2009.

It was spot­ted days af­ter it went miss­ing by Pau­ata­hanui School pupil Theo Su­to­rius, 11, as he was walk­ing home from school.

The white carved cross was float­ing in a stream sev­eral kilo­me­tres from its orig­i­nal site.

Not know­ing a cross had gone miss­ing, and with the wa­ter flow­ing too fast to in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther, Theo and his friend, Keaden Poin­ton, left it there.

‘‘It was bat­tered against a whole lot of bram­bles in the wa­ter. We thought it would [drift away] in a cou­ple of min­utes,’’ Theo said.

When Kapi-Mana News fea­tured the cross’s dis­ap­pear­ance two weeks ago, Theo recog­nised it in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing photo im­me­di­ately.

‘‘I was like, ‘We saw a cross in the river.

We may as well go check it out and see cross’.’’

Last Mon­day Theo re­turned to the river with his par­ents, Tony Su­to­rius and Ta­nia Wood­cock, and waded through cutty grass to res­cue it.

Theo is con­vinced the cross was stolen rather than washed away by the June 20 storm.

The river was flow­ing to­wards the cross site so it couldn’t have drifted there, he said.

‘‘ I am sure it didn’t get washed away.

‘‘Some­one might have thrown it in there.’’

Nathan’s fa­ther, Brent Lau­ren­son, was over­joyed the cross had been found.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic. We didn’t think it would ever been re­cov­ered,’’ he said.

‘‘It was only by pure luck that two kids went down to the stream and found it.’’ The cross had been scuffed, so was be­ing sanded and re­painted by Whi­tireia carvers, and would be back on the road­side next month, Mr Lau­ren­son said.

He agreed the cross was likely stolen, prob­a­bly pulled out by a car, he said.

‘‘ There’s no way it was washed away. It had a whole bag of con­crete in the base.’’

This time steel bars would be placed in the con­crete so it

if it was the same was more se­cure.

Mr Lau­ren­son said his fam­ily were touched by the level of in­ter­est and con­cern about the miss­ing cross.

‘‘The sup­port was won­der­ful.’’


Cross found: Cam­borne boy Theo Su­to­rius res­cued a stolen cross from a river last week af­ter spot­ting it in the Kapi-Mana News.

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