A statue of pioneering baseball player Jackie Robinson that was stolen from a Kansas park last week was found burned and in a trash can on Tuesday, police said.
The Wichita Fire Department responded to a report of a fire in a trash can at a park early on Tuesday and after putting out the blaze, fire fighters discovered pieces of the statue.
“Unfortunately, the statue is beyond repair,” Andrew Ford, a public information officer for the Wichita Police Department, said in an email.
“The WPD is still actively investigating the theft of the statue and has already interviewed over 100 people to try and identify those responsible.”
The statue was taken from Wichita’s McAdams Park just after midnight on Thursday.
It was cut just above Robinson’s shoes and hauled off in a truck. “Our community is devastated,” Wichita police said on social media at the time of the theft.
After playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues, Robinson became the first Black man to play in the major leagues.
The statue commemorated that accomplishment. Robinson was famous for overcoming racial hatred in a widely segregated society.
As a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he was a six-time All-Star and won a World Series title in 1955.
After retiring from baseball, the Georgia native became active in the U.S. civil rights movement.
He died in 1972 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.