MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — In 2019, Machesney Park resident Monty Morris handmade a wooden American flag and put it in his front yard. Soon after he died, it was stolen. Now, it’s been found and returned to his family.
Morris painted a flag onto a wooden pallet, and put it on display in front of his house.
He died that same year. And then, the flag was stolen.
“Oh it was heartbreaking,” said his daughter, Montana Morris. “It was only about a month and a half after he passed, and that pallet had been sitting under that tree for a while.
“It was important to him and all of us. Seeing that it was just gone, obviously, I thought we’d never get it back,” she continued.
However, on Monday, Montana got a text telling her the pallet had been found.
“The fact that I got that text message that day, and that the pallet was coming back, it was kind of like a weight off my shoulders,” she said. “It made me feel better, kind of like he was watching over me.”
Monty’s wife, Jill, says she’s in shock.
“I was just flabbergasted that somebody, after so long – ’cause I figured if I didn’t hear anything shortly after that [Facebook] post went up – I figured I’d never see it again,” she said.
Somehow, the pallet ended up in the basement of a home in Roscoe.
“This nice man acquired a house and this pallet flag he found in the basement,” Jill said.
She added that the homeowner’s mother saw a post in a Facebook group in 2019 and didn’t forget it.
“She told him he needed to go out and find the person it belonged to,” she said.
And now, the pallet has returned home. Montana says having it back is another way for she and her family to remember Monty.
“He sang karaoke everywhere he went. He played the spoons. I know most people don’t know what that means, but he played the spoons,” she said.
Jill says she’s not planning to display the flag in the front yard again, and will find a better location.
The family says they still don’t know who took it, or how it ended up in Roscoe, but they are glad to have it back.