Beloved Clown Found in Sex Offender's Home

It disappeared from amusement park years ago
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2015 3:09 AM CST
Beloved Clown Found in Sex Offender's Home
Wichita police burglary detective Matt Lang discusses how he located Joyland's organ-playing mascot, Louie the Clown, foreground.   (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher)

If you're not from Wichita, Kan., Louie the mechanical clown may seem a little creepy—but where he was discovered is a lot creepier. The life-size clown, who played the Wurlitzer organ at the city's now-closed Joyland amusement park for decades, was found this week in the home of a man already serving time for sex offenses against children, NBC reports. Louie disappeared from the park around a decade ago, and Damian Mayes, a former Joyland employee who used to repair the organ, will now face prosecution for clown theft, police say.

A police spokesman tells KSN that, like many people in the city, he remembers the clown from his childhood and that public interest kept the case alive. "Like Lazarus rising from the dead, we have Louie the Clown recovered," the president of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita and Sedgwick County tells the Wichita Eagle. "We have been working on this for months, accumulating information, photographs, and statements." He says the case was cracked after police were alerted to Facebook posts made by one of Mayes' relatives. (More strange stuff stories.)

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