Another Baby Jesus is stolen in Jackson County

Another Baby Jesus is stolen in Jackson County
By: Carly O'Keefe
JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. - Elizabeth Davis has the swaddling clothes in her manger, but no baby Jesus. "This is my makeshift baby," said Davis adjusting a towel and fabric to make it look like a baby wrapped in blankets.
But even swaddling clothes are more than she found in the manger Tuesday morning. "We came out and looked to get the paper and the whole holy family was gone. Stolen," said Davis.
Davis bought a new Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, but Tuesday night thieves returned.
"They came back and stole the lambs and Jesus," said Davis.
While Davis says she is determined to celebrate the season anyway, the theft has knocked her holiday cheer down a notch.
"I was disappointed that somebody would do that, theft is wrong no matter what you steal but I was still kind of shocked that someone would steal the holy family," said Davis.
At Pleasant Hill Christian Church, in rural Murphysboro, the rest of the holy family is still in place; but Mary and Joseph stare adoringly at an empty spot in the straw.
"We may take a brick and swaddle it and make it look like there's something in there and make it look not so empty," said Pastor Jason Brandon.
A church worker discovered baby Jesus was missing Saturday. Pastor Brandon hopes the spirit of the season hasn't been taken from his congregation as the theft has shocked many.
"Christmas is about finding Jesus, and I guess in a sense we've added a new definition to that. But it's a shame, that's not what it's supposed to be," said Brandon.
Pastor Brandon says if baby Jesus is returned, the thief of thieves will be forgiven, and the church will not press charges.
If you have information on who may have the stolen Nativity pieces, contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 618-684-4215.