Nativity scene piece was found in the yard of a home on the 3800 block of Anjou Lane in Hoffman Estates in 2003.
He's been away from his manger for eight years, but a unique hand-crafted Baby Jesus has been reunited with his Inverness family.
It was Dec. 31, 2003 when a Hoffman Estates police officer found the life-sized nativity scene piece in the yard of a home on the 3800 block of Anjou Lane. Try as they might, officers for eight years couldn't find his rightful owner.
"[Property room Manager Chris Moore] didn't want to just auction it off like we do normal property after a year. ... She felt that this was somebody's personal piece and probably missed it very much," explained Sgt. Darren Felgenhauer.
By law, police departments are able to auction off property they hold if attempts to find rightful owners are unsuccessful.
"It was her tenacity and everything that kind of led to getting to the owners of this nativity scene," said Felgenhauer.
Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune picked up the annual story of the department's search for Jesus' "home." The expanded media coverage worked, and Patricia Urbaniak said she and the rest of her family went to the Hoffman Estates police station with proof that the statue was part of their collection.
"It's a great feeling, since we lost it about eight years ago, and it's back," she said.
Moore admits she'll miss seeing the item.
"He's been with us so long and ... we kept him in a special place in our property room, so we saw him everyday," she said.
Village of Hoffman Estates: Unclaimed Property