Police: one giant plush gorilla returned, more dropped off

Local News

Fremont Police say one of the plush gorillas stolen Wednesday night has been recovered.

“King Louie” was recovered.

Earlier this week, the Fremont Police Department posted a picture of the gorillas, “King Louie” and “Rainbow,” on social media asking for people to share it. 

According to Fremont Police Chief Deputy Jordon Trippe, the gorillas are well known in the small community. They belong to Paul Didier, who has autism and sees them as family members. 
 
In the spring, Paul places the gorillas outside his house so they can greet students at Fremont High School across the street and anyone driving by. 
 
“It’s kind of an icon in the community where everybody wakes up in the morning and sees what Paul has done with these gorillas,” explained Trippe. 
 
But on Wednesday night, two of Paul’s family members were taken. 
 
“I said to myself, Jesus, help me find my gorillas and I was just praying. I was just praying my heart out,” said Paul. 
 
Knowing how much they meant, the Fremont Police put out a call for help and the community responded. The post was shared thousands of times, people dropped off new stuffed animals and tips poured in.
 
Eventually, officers were led to a 17-year-old from Coldwater, Michigan. Police say he took both animals from Paul’s home but left one on the side of the road.
 
“Somebody picked King Louie up there not knowing it was stolen at that point,” added Trippe. 
 
Realizing who King Louie’s owner was, the stranger dropped him off at Paul’s house Saturday morning. And Paul’s family, at least part of it, was back. 
 
“I was so, so happy that I have a family here that I love,” Paul said. 
 
Police will not be able to recover Rainbow, but King Louie and the new gang are giving Paul some comfort and his town too. 
 
“We’ve got two more friends and we heard we might have more friends coming. So, watch out. We’re going to have a zoo in Fremont,” said Paul’s mom Cynthia Church. 
 
Police are setting up interviews with the 17-year-old suspect. Paul’s family said they do not plan on pressing charges. 
 

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