Police seek help in locating person who vandalized Jesus statue

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Police are looking for the person who vandalized a Jesus statue outside a church, beheading him.

It happened at Cottage Avenue Pentecostal Fellowship Church on Cottage Avenue near Terrace and Madison avenues.

The statue sits on a platform. It stands about six feet high, and greets members near the main entrance. Members were greeted by the vandalism as they showed up for Sunday morning service.

It’s a symbol of hope and salvation; a statue of Jesus. His crucifixion is obvious in his hands. Adding to that, his head cut off and stolen.

“Jesus suffered enough. I know this is just a statue, but it still represents what we’re all here for. He’s our savior,” said David Fishburn who is a co-owner of the building.

Fishburn says the church has been around since 1850 and the statue just a few years. He sees the beheading as an ultimate sign of disrespect.

“I would like to see the property replaced and brought back and we could repair it and go back to where we were,” he said.

It would cost the church up to $5,000 to replace, Fishburn estimated.

“If you look at it, it’s not only made of concrete and it has delicate, intricate designs where you see his spiritual robe and everything is hand painted,” said Fishburn.

It’s not about the cost, however. Lynette Salyers lives right next door to the church. She says it’s about the message the vandal is sending.

“It’s, I guess you could say, sacrilegious to do something like that to a Jesus statue. I mean, it’s not like there’s not plenty of other stuff they could do if they wanted to do it. A Jesus statue, said Salyers.

Fishburn says it’s not the first time the statue as been vandalized. Weeks ago, he says the vandal sawed off the head and placed it next to the body. The church repaired it.

“They have returned twice and destroyed our statue, twice. This time, taken the head. Is that a beginning of something that’s to come,” he questioned.

Fishburn says there are some surveillance cameras that might’ve caught the suspect. He plans to review it for any clues If you have any information that could help in this investigation call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477.

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