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Full page ad seeks missing garden gnome in Detroit Lakes

The family wants the gnome back enough to take out an unusual full-page newspaper ad in the Detroit Lakes Tribune, offering a $100 reward for information “leading to the safe and secure recovery of GnomeGnome.”

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From left to right are Michele Sagsveen, Sue Osterberg, Lynn Leegard, Mike Leegard, and in front their dad, Lyle Leegard. The family is hoping for the return of a stolen garden gnome that is important for sentimental reasons.
Contributed Photo
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After 81-year-old Lyle Leegard of Detroit Lakes died on Dec. 14, a 3-foot wooden gnome in his yard on West Lake Drive went missing, and his family would dearly love to have it returned.

GmomeGnome was given to her father as a present, and the family was planning to repaint it and return it to the giver as a parting gift, said one of Leegard's daughters, Sue Osterberg, who lives in Tennessee.

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This full page ad ran in the May 1, 2022 issue of the Detroit Lakes Tribune. The gnome that is pictured is not the actual garden gnome, but it is as close as the family could come to it.
Nathan Bowe/Tribune

The family wants the gnome back enough to take out an unusual full-page newspaper ad in the Detroit Lakes Tribune, offering a $100 reward for information “leading to the safe and secure recovery of GnomeGnome.”

The missing gnome was “last seen on (the 900 block of) West Lake Drive in February,” the ad reads. “GnomeGnome was taken from the yard without authorization. Standing 3 feet tall and in need of a little paint.”

The full page ad was designed to “make a big splash” and make sure the “gnomenapping” got lots of attention, Osterberg said.

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She even set up a designated email address — gnomecomehome1@gmail.com — for people to contact her “if you know the whereabouts of this lost gnome.”

“It was in our dad’s front yard on West Lake Drive and he passed away,” she said in an interview. “Obviously, we were getting the house ready to sell, and somebody stopped by and asked for it (the gnome).”

Shortly after that, GnomeGnome disappeared, she said. “It was given to our dad by a really good friend, multiple years ago,” she said. “It was in his garden area by the house — hopefully somebody knows where it is, and who took it.”

The family just wants the gnome back, no questions asked, she said.

“If someone took it — no harm, no foul. Just give it back,” she said. “If not, I guess they’ll just have to live with themselves, but that’s pretty sad.”

But Osterberg is hopeful that GnomeGnome will find his way home. “You never know, maybe somebody will drop it off at the newspaper,” she joked.

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