Update: Dive Teams Recover Doughboy Bayonet from James River - WSET.com - ABC13

Update: Dive Teams Recover Doughboy Bayonet from James River

Posted:

Update Nov. 1:

Lynchburg, VA - Officials from the Lynchburg Police Department say the Virginia State Police Dive Team members located the missing bayonet Friday afternoon.

Crews found it while searching areas of the James River Friday.

We will have much more on this coming up on ABC 13 News at 6 p.m.

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Lynchburg, VA - While Lynchburg police search for the missing bayonet, more than a dozen veterans rallied around the Doughboy Statue at their weekly rally Friday.

A tipster told Lynchburg police an Amherst County woman damaged the WWI monument on October 4.

Jessica McCrickard, 21, told police she panicked and threw the bayonet into the James River. Now, she may have to pay for the search.

The veterans group that raised the $3,000 reward money say state police is sending out its dive team to look for the bayonet. And they'll bill McCrickard for the cost.

Armed with American Flags, a handful of veterans gathered around the Doughboy Monument. For more than 80 years, it's stood watch over the now 267 names that are engraved on Monument Terrace.

"They died for a cause and that represents it. And it's kind of sacred ground for us," Vietnam Veteran Len Glaser said of the statue.

For the third week now, the monument is still missing its bayonet.

"Every day citizens took it as an affront to them that it was vandalized," added Veteran Activist Steve Bozeman.

Bozeman, who helped raise the $3,000 reward says he understands McCrickard was with a group of Liberty University students when she climbed onto the statue, broke off the bayonet and threw it into the James River.

After weeks of searching and a growing reward -- a tipster eventually notified police.

Ken Faraoni is the sculptor who re-attached the bayonet when it was broken off last summer. He says it was reinforced with stainless rods and believes this time it was no accident.

"Because of the fact we reinforced it and made it stronger than it had ever been before. To me this was an intentional act of vandalism," Faraoni said.

Deliberate or not, the city is in the process of making security around the statue even stronger. But with an army like this, who needs it?

"Anybody that's served in the armed forces, you just can't imagine what something like that does when they desecrate a monument," said Glaser.

In Virginia, if stolen property is worth more than 200 dollars, a suspect is charged with felony grand larceny.

Lynchburg police say the bayonet is worth less than $200 in scrap metal, so McCrickard's facing a misdemeanor instead.

She told ABC 13 by phone Thursday night that it was all a mistake and she felt terrible about what happened.

She's scheduled to appear in court on October 31.

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