Update: Fingerprints and tips part of Wright probe

By on October 16, 2019

(National Park Services)

A National Park Service (NPS) spokesman says the agency is following up on a “handful of tips” and lifting fingerprints off the recovered bust of Orville Wright as its investigation continues into vandalism and theft at the Wright Brothers Monument in Kill Devil Hills. The NPS puts the time of the crime as the late-night hours of Oct. 12 or early-morning hours of Oct. 13.

There was a breakthrough on the afternoon of Oct. 15 as the bust of Orville Wright was found “tucked” into the dunes of the beach in Kill Devil Hills. The bust was found near 909 S. Virginia Dare Trail.

During the ongoing investigation, spokesperson Mike Barber said the NPS on the Outer Banks is using its own group of law enforcement officers as well as reaching out to Dare County police departments for assistance.

At the same time, the NPS is evaluating what and how long it will take to repair the damaged monument. The park historian, Barber said, is examining the condition of the granite mounting base and the question of whether repair can be done “internally” or will require outside help depends on how extensive the damage proves to be.

In the meantime, Barber added, the viral spread of the story on social media — and the sheer number of people who have seen it — is a factor that is likely working in the investigators’ favor. To bolster that point, he noted that his original post about the theft on several social media platforms reached about one million people.

To report tips, contact the Dare County Community CrimeLine or the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch (ISB). You can call the ISB Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or go online at http://www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip.”

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See what people are saying:

  • rexcraigo

    How in the world is there not video surveillance of the Wright Brothers National Monument? Please tell me there is and the cops have reviewed it and are looking for the suspects. That’s pitiful. Video cameras cost nothing.

    Thursday, Oct 17 @ 8:58 am