Update: Now authorities claim statue was never missing after all. The entire park complex remains closed, however, "for renovations."
(St. Louis) Authorities are baffled by the disappearance of one of St. Louis' most recognizable landmarks: a 4000 lb. bronze statue of the Crusader King of France, Louis IX, for whom the city is named. The statue of St. Louis atop his warhorse has stood watch in front of the St. Louis Art Museum for over a century. The landmark was reported missing early Thursday morning, according to police.
The previous evening, Mayor Francis Slay had issued the city's first gay marriage licenses, creating a local controversy. Police are discounting any link between the gay marriages and the disappearance, although Mayor Slay has not ruled out terrorism.
"It just seems a bit coincidental that I issue gay marriage licenses, and suddenly an enormous statue of a saint goes missing," Slay told reporters Thursday afternoon. "We can't rule out the actions of Catholic extremists or other terrorist groups."
Authorities called eyewitness reports of "really deep" hoof prints leading away from the statue's former location "ludicrous."