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A community has lost its unofficial mascot.

Someone stole a replica of the famous statue, “Venus De Milo,” from the 10000 block of Walter Landing Road in Nanjemoy. The statue was reported missing at 7:17 a.m. April 8 by its owner, Susan Huntt of Nanjemoy.

Huntt said the statue, which is 5 feet tall, has been in her garden for six years and has become a bit of a member of the community.

After the statue went missing, neighbor Melissa Gibson wrote a letter to the editor of the Maryland Independent asking for its return and describing the importance of the statue. “She cheered you when you went and gave you a sense of gratitude when you were safely home,” Gibson wrote.

Huntt said the history of the garden statue is quite simple.

Several years ago, she said, she worked at a home and garden center and was responsible for locating garden statues and decorations to sell. She found the “Venus De Milo” statue, which represents the ancient goddess of love, but it never sold at the garden center.

Feeling sorry for the plastic statue, Huntt brought it home to her garden.

Huntt recalled that people at the garden center seemed less put off by the fact that the statue was topless and more offended that her drapery extended far down her waist, exposing some of her bottom. Knowing that school buses pass by her home and thinking she might get complaints, Huntt said she clothed the statue.

Clothing Venus started as a bit of a joke, but then Huntt really got creative.

She said she began searching for outfits for the statue to wear and coordinated outfits to go with holidays.

“I had so much fun,” she said.

People in the community also enjoyed the statue.

“People drive up and take pictures,” she said.

Mike Callahan, an instructor at the Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Center, said he and his colleagues passed by the statue every day and “everybody looked forward to seeing her.”

Callahan said he enjoyed seeing the different outfits and recalled that one of the funnier outfits was for Mother’s Day, when the statue was dressed to appear pregnant and had a bassinet at her side.

On his way home from work one day, the statue was not in the garden.

Callahan said his first thought was, “Don’t tell me someone stole Venus.”

A quick call to Huntt, who volunteers at the environmental center, confirmed the statue had been taken.

Callahan said he would very much like to see it returned.

As for the theft, Huntt said she is sad it happened but thought from the beginning that “it was only a matter of time.”

She would like to see the statue returned and would not be upset if she found it left at the end of the driveway.

“I’d love to have her back in any condition. If she was damaged beyond repair, I would bury her,” Huntt said.

Officer L. Payne of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft.

Anyone with information regarding the theft of the statue can contact Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS, text CHARLES and the tip to CRIMES or go to www.ccso.us to submit a tip online.

gphillips@somdnews.com