Stolen memorial bench found, but severely damaged

NORWALK, Ohio – A memorial bench that went missing from Norwalk Reservoir has been located, but is in such bad shape it cannot be reinstalled.

The bench was placed in honor of Jeffrey Warnek, who died 4 years ago at the age of 18. To honor his memory, his family had a concrete bench built and planted a tree at the reservoir where he spent a lot of his time and where his father now walks his dog.

But at some point over the weekend of March 10 and 11, the bench disappeared.

On Sunday, family members told Fox 8’s Kevin Freeman that the bench had been found, but was severely damaged. Police added that the bench was found near the Coho Dam in Norwalk. It appears that it had been tossed out of a vehicle and now has a huge crack underneath it and is missing a large chunk of the concrete. Police are still investigating.

The family had hoped one day to replace the concrete bench with a marble bench, and is raising money for that now. There is a Gofundme account that has been set up to help them do that.