UPDATE: City says they removed cross after complaint

Published: Jun. 27, 2017 at 5:55 PM CDT
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Update: June 28, 2017

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – In an update to a story we covered Tuesday, a cross to remember Karen Schafer at Brendenwood and Alpine was taken down by the City of Rockford after they say they received a complaint about the memorial.

Schafer’s family says they believed the cross was stolen.

The City says even though putting up memorials on city property is an ordinance violation, they will only take it down if they receive a complaint.

“We are sensitive to the point that we don't go out looking for them we actually wait for a complaint and if a complaint comes in then we're obligated to act on it,” says Public Works Director Mark Stockman.

Stockman says the cross was destroyed while workers were taking it down.


Posted: June 27, 2017

ROCKFORD,Ill. ( WIFR) -- The family of a woman killed in 2013 says they are in shock after a homemade cross hung at the intersection where she died is stolen.

The family of Karen Schafer says they don't know what type of person would do something like this. The cross has been missing since Thursday.

This isn't the first time the cross which hung nearly 6 feet off the ground at the intersection Brendenwood and Alpine roads has been tampered with.

Schafer's brother Patrick Gendron made the cross as a way to cope with his sister's death. Schafer was killed in a car accident while police were pursuing a burglary suspect.

"I hope everybody out there leaves people's memorials. This was nice. It was in nobody's way. No reason to hurt it or destroy it. It's gut wrenching you come by here and it feels like somebody just killed her again," says Gendron.

The family would like the cross returned to Holy Family Catholic Church. They are in the process of making a new cross which will be made and re-enforced with steel.