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Missing Sasquatch remains afoot

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Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008

Nicole Hosack still hasn't had her beloved Bigfoot statue returned to her store, but she knows that a Ford City man has been charged with stealing it.

Joshua E. Duncan, 32, of Ford City waived a theft charge to Armstrong County Court. He is free without bond.

Police said Duncan and others, including two soldiers on leave, on June 16 took the 30-inch Sasquatch from Hosak's Niki's Quick Six store. It's made from a material that makes it look like carved wood.

Police said the Bigfoot was pilfered under one of the culprits' coats as joke.

But it upset Hosak and a large number of her customers.

"Many people visited the store to have their photo taken with it," Hosak said. "We had a couple from Philadelphia divert from their trip to see it."

Bigfoot is worth about $100, but its sentimental value is much greater because it was a gift from her husband.

Police think the statue was taken to a military base in North Carolina.

Hosak said Kiski Township police gave Duncan three weeks to return it without charges being filed.

"At one point I was told they would FedEx it," she said.

That didn't happen. Instead, all she got was an excuse.

"I was told that a foot was broken off and I said, 'OK, give it back anyway.' But he didn't."

Attorney Jim Wray, who is representing Duncan, said an agreement was offered to Duncan "but for some reason it didn't happen."

The theft sparked media attention.

A Bigfoot society sent her a T-shirt. Someone else mailed her another Bigfoot shirt.

Someone from Derry in Westmoreland County sent her a plaster cast of alleged Bigfoot footprints.

"Bud" Barr Jr. of Flat Rock Road, Kiski Township carved her a 6-inch replica out of wood -- little Bigfoot.

She appreciates the concern, but said people still ask about the "little Bigfoot's big brother."

Said Hosak, "We just had a little girl ask her father, 'Daddy, what happened to the big statue?'"



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