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Statue commemorating children’s deaths stolen from elementary school

The Wall Courage Todd Hall Elementary School Lincolnwood is seen without memorial statue.

The Wall of Courage at Todd Hall Elementary School in Lincolnwood is seen without the memorial statue.

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Updated: February 28, 2012 8:19AM

A statue that was part of a memorial to students who had died was stolen from outside a Lincolnwood elementary school.

An employee of Todd Hall Elementary School on Monday morning noticed the metal statue of two children reading a book was missing from the memorial, Principal Ellen Shankar said.

The bronze-colored statue was affixed to a metal bench bolted to cement in front of the school, 3925 W. Lunt Ave. The bench remains.

Shankar said staff members searched school grounds, including the building’s roof, but did not find the statue or any remnants of it.

“I have no idea what happened,” Shankar said, adding that the memorial hasn’t been damaged in the past.

The statue was part of the school’s “Wall of Courage,” a memorial for Lincolnwood School District students who died young.

The memorial was dedicated in May 2004 after the deaths of two students, Ayla Asif and Sammy Shapiro-Rosenberg, who succumbed to cancer in 2003. The memorial honors all the children who died while students in the district, including Sean Sophier (1998), Anfal Hussain (1995) and Michelle Mollet (1973), who also were named in the memorial.

Students raised money by collecting pennies to fund the statue in on honor of their classmates, Shankar said.

Shankar said though the statue doesn’t have a great monetary value, someone might have mistaken it for bronze and wanted to sell it to make a “quick buck.”

Lincolnwood Police Lt. John Walsh said police are searching for suspects.

Shankar made a plea on the school’s website for information about the missing statue. If it doesn’t turn up in the next few months, plans will be made “replace or put something in that space that is meaningful,” she said.

Anyone with information about the missing statue is asked to call police at (847) 673-2167 or the school at (847) 675-8235.

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