Baby Jesus goes missing from Steamboat manger

Baby Jesus was discovered missing from the manger at Holy Name Catholic Church on Tuesday.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Grinch must have been in Steamboat Springs for the Christmas holiday because baby Jesus has gone missing from the manger sitting in front of Holy Name Catholic Church.

Betsy Johnston, who works at the church, said baby Jesus was last seen at about 9 p.m. on Christmas Day.

A parishioner noticed it was gone at about 2:15 p.m. the next day.

Some people thought someone might have put it inside the church, but that wasn’t the case.

“All we’d like is to have it back,” Johnston.

The local Knights of Columbus chapter takes care of the manger.

They set it up four weeks before Christmas and then start gradually adding pieces.

Jesus is added on Christmas Eve.

Officials hope whoever took it has a good conscience and will relieve themselves of the guilt.

“Bad luck for the start of the year,” said Walter Magill, the head of Knights of Columbus.

The incident was reported to the Steamboat Springs Police Department.

Officer John McCartin said nothing else was missing or damaged.

“Maybe with all the snow, he got excited and is up skiing,” McCartin said.

This is not the first time baby Jesus has gone missing.

He was reported missing on Dec. 28, 2009, along with Joseph and a lamb.

It was later learned that a pair of men who were walking from a bar to a house party on Pine Street stole the three figures.

“They showed up, and Joseph and Jesus and a lamb were guests of honor at a party on Pine Street that evening,” Father Ernest Bayer said at the time.

A Crime Stoppers tip led to the discovery of the figures.

They were picked up from the party house and returned to the manger.

“It’s really interesting; why would they want to have Jesus at their party?” Bayer said after the figures were recovered. “I guess everybody is looking for Jesus.”

People with information can contact the police department directly at 970-879-1144, or they can remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226.

Tips can be sent by text message by texting NABM, followed by the tip, to 274637. A confirmation text will then be sent.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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