Virginia state troopers are heroes to a group of Lynchburg veterans tonight. They found the missing piece of an iconic military statue.
A state police dive team located the bayonet from the "Doughboy," a World War I tribute at Monument Terrace.
Jessica McCrickard, a 21-year-old from Amherst, broke the piece off a few weeks ago. She told officers that she accidentally pulled the bayonet off while posing for a photograph at the Doughboy statue.
Investigators say McCrickard admitted to throwing the bayonet in the James River, near Big Island. Divers found it in the water Friday morning, underneath the Appalachian Trail pedestrian bridge off Route 130.
"I thought it could have been a piece of wood or another piece of metal, because all I could see was the outline," said Trooper Andrew Trombley, a diver with Virginia State Police. "There was just a little bit of silt on top, but when I picked it up I realized what I had."
"It's almost like Christmas," said Steve Bozeman, a Lynchburg resident and Vietnam veteran. "I couldn't have been any happier if I was a little kid and someone brought me that bayonet."
Veterans who gather every Friday at Monument Terrace raised $3,000 to find the person who damaged the statue. An anonymous tipster will get the reward.
McCrickard is charged with destruction of property and petit larceny for damaging the statue.