Stolen memorial rock found with the help of social media
A stolen memorial rock has been found.
The Castorina family, who planted the rock on the top of Badger Mountain five years ago, is thrilled to have it back in their possession.
They say they have the community and Facebook to thank.
"She was an awesome mom,” said Ryan Rose.
Ryan lost his mom, Jan Castorina, to breast cancer in 2013.
Ryan says his mom loved to hike Badger Mountain, even while going through chemotherapy.
"Even when she was going through chemo, she was able to do Badger because she was the strongest person that you would ever meet,” Rose said.
To symbolize Jan's love for the trail, her family put an engraved rock at the top of Badger.
"When we put it up there we made sure it blended in with the surroundings,” Rose said. “It was not on a trail. It was not in anybody’s easement other than Benton County. It was very inconspicuous."
Ryan said the memorial rock had been in that spot for over five years with no issues from Benton County Parks or the group 'Friends of Badger'.
"We're not sure why anyone would have a problem with it being where it was at," Rose said.
But a few days ago, the rock disappeared.
"The rock means a lot to a lot of people more than just the family," Rose said.
The family took to social media to spread the word about the treasured memorial. In just under a day, the response grew. The thief reported himself to Benton County Parks.
"I’m sure it was just an individual doing in their mind what they thought was right," Rose said.
The family is thrilled to have the rock back but the roller coaster of emotions they faced is something they hope to never go through again.
"I’m pretty calm about it,” Rose said. “Some different emotions might hit me later down the road.”
The family is unsure of their plans for the memorial rock, but they hope this time it will stay put.
It took less than 24 hours for the family's Facebook post about the missing rock to take off. The initial post has almost two hundred shares.
Benton County Parks says the support from the community on Facebook is what ended up getting the thief to turn himself in.