It was a symbol of peace, but that has been disrupted. A sign that acted as the centerpiece to a playground built in memory of Newtown shooting victim Grace McDonnell was stolen.
Police said someone called the McDonnell family after the sign was taken and told them they did it because the shooting was a hoax.
"It's horrible to hear that we have someone in the community that would take a sign with such special meaning," said Alyssa Olsson, of Mystic.
But the space where the missing sign once stood has now been replaced with homemade signs that act as temporary replacements to the one that was stolen.
About 30 heartfelt signs encircle the spot where the 50-pound peace sign once stood.
"I think it's a great memory to little Grace," said Dorothy Olsson, of Mystic.
The beachside playground has become a beloved addition to the community and parents said they aren't letting this ugly crime spoil the beautiful tribute to a young life cut short.
"We wanted to come down to spread peace and love around here, and let everybody know that this is our playground, in our community," said Michelle Young, of Stonington.
The thief's plan may soon be undone. Donors from across the country have offered to pay for a new sign to be installed.
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