CRESCENT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Jimmy Antonis of North Fayette was just 20-years-old when his life was cut short on March 28, 2009, in a shooting in the Wendy’s parking lot in Aliquippa.
Nine years later, the wound of the young man’s death has reopened. What used to sit outside a family run automotive business was a special bench etched with angels on top, a memorial to Antonis.
On Labor Day weekend someone stole it, leaving the family and community wondering who would do this?
“It’s just devastating to her,” said Dan Stewart, who owns the business along with his wife, Johneen Morley-Stewart, Antonis’s mom. “It really means a lot it was one of Jimmy’s best friends that gave it to her and it’s just a piece of her son gone again.”
“The sentimental value alone is all she wants back, she don’t want another bench. You can’t replace a bench that was given to her like that.”
The victim’s mom took to Facebook when her son’s bench was stolen to ask for help.
The story of the stolen memorial bench has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook, the victim’s mom says despite her pain it’s proof for every bad thing that happens, more good can come.
“The positive of it is that it has brought the community in Crescent, Moon and some of the surrounding areas kind of together in feeling like they feel bad for the people who lost the bench,” said Dan Longerman, the Chief of Police in Crescent Township.
Chief Longerman is determined to bring the family’s bench back to its former resting place. Caring community members have offered to replace the bench but Chief says only returning the original will be good enough.
“No questions asked we don’t want anybody’s name we don’t want to know where it was or who took it, all we’re interested in is getting this bench back because of its sentimental value,” Chief Longerman said.
Anyone with information about the missing bench is asked to contact Morley-Stewart at 412-908-0991.