Next steps after pieces of vandalized MLK memorial recovered

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Former Mayor Wellington Webb, former first lady Wilma Webb, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas, and sculptor Ed Dwight will hold a news conference Wednesday.

DENVER — The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss next steps after pieces that were stolen from the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in City Park were recovered from a scrapyard

Former Mayor Wellington Webb, former first lady Wilma Webb, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas, and sculptor Ed Dwight, who created the memorial, will be at the 2 p.m. news conference at Dwight’s studio. 

> 9NEWS will livestream the news conference in the video player above and on the free 9NEWS+ app on Roku and Fire TV. 

Three pieces that were stolen from the monument were recovered after they were sold as scrap metal, the Denver Police Department said Tuesday. 

RELATED: Pieces of vandalized MLK memorial found in scrapyard, police say

Denver Parks and Recreation maintenance staff noticed the pieces missing from the monument last week and reported the theft to police. On Friday, investigators learned the three bronze pieces had been sold as scrap metal to a local business. 

The large plaque stolen from the “I Have a Dream” monument was cut into four pieces before it was sold, police said. The investigation found the thefts from the memorial happened between 3 and 6 a.m. Feb. 18.

Police said they are looking for two suspects in connection with the theft. They identified one of those suspects as Herman Duran, 67. They are still working to identify the second suspect.


Police said seven bronze pieces from the Joseph Addison Thatcher Memorial fountain in City Park were also stolen and sold. Investigators recovered those pieces and returned them to Denver Arts and Venues, which manages both monuments.

“Because the stolen pieces from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I have a Dream’ monument and Joseph Addison Thatcher Memorial fountain were sold as scrap metal, the incident does not appear at this time to be bias-motivated,” police said in a news release Tuesday. “However, investigators’ final findings will be presented to the Denver District Attorney’s Office, which determines charges.”

Dr. Vern Howard, a spokesperson with the MLK Colorado Holiday Commission, said the three pieces that were taken from the monument have been sent to the Ed Dwight Studio to be worked on.

The MLK Colorado Holiday Commission has been fundraising to replace the stolen pieces since the vandalism was reported. Howard said the fundraising will continue as the commission wants to add security, more lighting and surveillance cameras around the memorial.

Anyone with information that may help the police investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

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Next steps after pieces of vandalized MLK memorial recovered

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