ASHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan family is asking the community to be on the lookout for an alien statue that was taken from outside their home. The family said the Martian is much more than a piece of art.
Daynelle VanderLaan said her 102-year-old mother-in-law Freda has always had a thing for comedy. So after finding an alien statue while out of town, Daynelle and her husband Dennis figured it would make a perfect gift.
“We got a U-Haul and brought it home because Mother’s Day was just a few weeks away and then she got her present, and she was like, ‘Aww that is the coolest thing ever,'” Daynelle said.
For around six years, the alien statue has sat outside the VanderLaan’s home near Grant and enjoyed its time on Earth dressing up in different costumes.
Over the years, Freda, who has Alzheimer’s, built a special relationship with the extraterrestrial, who is always waving.
“When she goes to the table for coffee and breakfast, she can see it out of her big window. So she says hi to the birds and she waves to the statue,” Daynelle said.
Freda’s daily routine was broken last weekend at the hands of thieves. Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the VanderLaans said the statue was taken.
“I brought the dog out and I was standing there looking and I’m like, something’s missing, and then all of a sudden it just hit me, it’s gone,” said Dennis VanderLaan, Freda’s son.
“If it was a prank last night when you were partying, is it still a prank once you find out it belongs to a 102-year-old lady, who was her friend?” Daynelle said.
Daynelle said as Alzheimer’s causes her mother-in-law to forget many things, the alien has continued to hold a place in her heart.
“As she forgets the other stuff, you kind of grasp onto the few things she does remember and that was just one of them. She just misses it,” Daynelle said.
The VanderLaans have considered buying another statue but are unable to find any with the unique waving stance. They don’t want to press charges against whoever nabbed it, they just want it back where it belongs.
“What are you going to do with it? It’s only fun if you can put it out and have the whole community enjoy it, and you can’t do that because the whole community is looking for it,” Daynelle said.