A sculpture meant to honor an avid cyclist, who passed away two years ago, was missing Friday evening.
The big yellow bicycle served as a marker on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, and his family says they want it back.
Martin Nieb died of cancer in May 2012. Shortly after his death, his family and his friends from the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail wanted to do something in his honor.
"It was like a second home to him. He loved his exercise. He loved the outdoors. He loved to ride his bike, which is why a bike sculpture," said Martin's wife, Shelley Nieb.
Family and friends raised $700 to purchase a sculpture of a big yellow bicycle. East Granby officials donated the base and the installation. City officials said they wanted to help the cause and do a good thing for the family.
"It was just a beautiful tribute," Shelley Nieb said. "Just going by the trail, on the trail, you would see it and smile, think of him, and know he was happy watching down on it."
A few weeks back, Martin's workout buddies noticed the sculpture was missing.
"One day, I came out and saw two people standing here kind of looking at the empty space," said friend Maryanne Krajcik.
Friend Debbie Gaulin, of Suffield, said she felt "devastation" over the theft.
"We were all very upset," Gaulin said.
All that was left were two little stumps. The edges were jagged, so friends don't think they were sawed off.
They called East Granby Public Works Department to see if it had been knocked off by a plow, but they didn't have it.
Shelley Nieb said she is hoping someone just may not have realized how important the bike is.
"It's kind of a no-questions-asked type thing," Shelley Nieb said. "We just want it back where it belongs."
The family of Martin Nieb said they are not worried about why the sculpture is gone, they just want it back.
Anyone with information should give the Connecticut State Police a call at 860-534-1000.
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