Mystery of missing Bigfoot statue gets weirder in remote North Carolina mountains

Avery County Sheriff Office Chief Detective Frank Catalano with the rediscovered statue in the Edgemont community.
Avery County Sheriff Office Chief Detective Frank Catalano with the rediscovered statue in the Edgemont community. Avery County Sheriff's Office photo

The odd case of a missing Bigfoot statue in western North Carolina took an even stranger turn Wednesday, when it was found carefully placed in a remote wooded area of Avery County.

But who took it — and why — remains a mystery.

Even more mysterious: Why was the 180-pound statue dragged 11 miles to a spot believed to be home to the mythical Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch.

“We feel since Sasquatch seemed unharmed and (was) released in such a remote area, the thieves either had a change of heart or found that having a Sasquatch was just more difficult than they thought,” the Avery County Sheriff’s Office posted.

The discovery was made in Avery County’s Edgemont community by “a very alert young man” identified only as “Mike” by the sheriff’s office. Photos posted on Facebook showed the statue upright in a clearing, surrounded by trees.

Bigfoot is a fabled ape-like creature that is believed to live in remote areas of the state’s mountain counties. The town of Marion, in McDowell County, recently celebrated its second annual Western North Carolina Bigfoot Festival, in honor of the myth surrounding beast.

Avery County investigators reported Aug. 24 that the statue was taken from Mountaineer Landscaping in Linville. The company displayed the 6-foot statue along N.C. 105 and used it in advertising. The sheriff’s office offered no details on what evidence might have been found at the crime scene.

In yet another unexpected twist, the beloved statue is currently without a home or a confirmed owner, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

“We have been informed that insurance has paid the original owner so a determination will be made by the insurance company in the near future,” the department posted on Facebook.

“Until determination is made as to where Sasquatch’s final location will be, he will live at the Sheriff’s Office under the watch of a security camera.”

Reaction to the discovery has ranged from curiosity to humor, including some who joked “Sasquatch is in jail.

“Why Edgemont of all places?” asked Ashley Mabry on Facebook.

No one had a good answer for her question.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.