Published in the Iola Register on Nov. 14, 2012.

Stolen gun case remains unsolved

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer

Police have hit a roadblock in solving the case of a pair of antique dueling pistols that were stolen from the Cloud County Historical Society Museum in August.
Concordia Police Chief Chris Edin said there are three suspects in the case. Witnesses at the Museum described the suspects as four young men who came into the Museum at approximately 1 p.m. on August 14 and went into the section containing a re-creation of a room in Marion Ellet's house.
Museum Curator Cindy Reimann said shortly after 1 p.m. the boys left and Museum workers discovered that a locked wooden box containing two Collins Gun & Pistol Repository dueling pistols was missing.
Reimann said Museum workers saw the young men enter the Museum and go downstairs.
"They went through the lower level of the Museum and up into the Marion Ellet Room," she said. "They obviously knew exactly what they wanted and went right to it."
One of the suspects, Reimann said, was carrying a backpack, and she described him as tall, slender, very well tanned with short blond hair.
"His hair was cropped close and just as blond as can be," she said.
The guns, which were purchased in England by Ellet's father, Ben, are valued at $3,500. Lee Lowell, an executor of Ellet's estate, said while the manufacturing date on the guns is unknown, they date back to pre-Civil War years.
"We are very saddened over not only the loss of the guns, but the loss of historical value to this community," Lowell said.
Edin said the case is at a standstill because of lack of evidence.
"We have suspects, but not enough evidence to prove that they are the ones who took the pistols," he said. "We need someone to come forward who knows something about this case."
Police describe the three suspects as: White male, 16-18-years-old, 6'2" to 6'4", 175-185 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes; white male, 5'8 to 5'10", very thin build, blond hair; and white male, 5'7" to 5'8", 120-125 pounds, thin build, and looks very young.
A $500 reward has been offered for information that leads to the recovery of the guns. If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of the guns, or who may have taken them, they are asked to call either the Concordia Police Department, 785-243-3131, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.