Like a patient on a gurney being wheeled into surgery, a flat bed truck brought the ailing golden fisherman statue back to Biloxi. A severed arm came off the truck first. A leg came off next.
Biloxi investigators spent three days hunting for the statue, and for leads to explain how it disappeared and then was discovered on Tuesday. Darrin Peterson is the lead investigator.
"It's one of those types of cases either you find something quickly or you usually don't hear something for a long time," he said.
Sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, the golden fisherman had been taken from Point Cadet and sliced into five pieces. Thanks to a tip called in to the Mobile County Sheriff's Office, authorities found the statue, and grand larceny suspect Herman Alan Hicks.
They also found the apparent reason the golden statue was in Alabama.
"Indirectly we understand that he's been coming over to this area and collecting scrap metals and taking them on back and selling them," Peterson said. "It's our belief that he felt like this was very valuable scrap metal and that's what he intended to do with it."
Peterson said the suspect didn't realize the golden fisherman had little value at scrap yards.
According to the investigator, "It's more of an art figure than a valuable metal."
Public works crews locked up the statue in a storage shed rented by the city. Nobody is sure if the golden fisherman will ever be healthy enough to look over the Biloxi coastline again.
According to a Biloxi spokesman, another arrest could be made in this case. So far, nobody has come forward asking for the reward Biloxi offered to find the golden fisherman.