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'Just disappeared': Billings family searching for meaningful missing garden gnome

'Just disappeared': Billings family searching for meaningful missing garden gnome
Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-28 15:45:40-04

BILLINGS — Billings resident Pamela Hampton took to social media over the weekend asking for help finding a garden gnome that she says was stolen from the front of her apartment near Monad Road and South 32nd Street West.

And it wasn't just a normal yard decoration for the Hampton family.

“[People] steal things because they think it’s funny. And they don’t realize what is behind the thing that they’re stealing. You know? It’s just so sad,” Hampton said Monday.

The garden gnome had been with the family for over 10 years and they had named it Norman. Norman belonged to Pamela's husband, Keith Hampton, who died unexpectedly almost eight years ago. The gnome was a reminder of her late husband.

“My husband loved pranking people with it, and so he would put it on people’s doorsteps and say feed me… In our neighborhood, we just had so much fun with him [Norman],” Hampton said.

Hampton moved into her apartment four years ago, and for those years Norman stood right next to her front stairs. She said the gnome was very heavy, standing at around two-and-a-half feet tall with a red hat, blue shirt and black boots. She said the gnome does have a crack in the hat.

She didn't even notice Norman was gone until this weekend, when her brother asked about him.

"And I'm like, 'I don't think I've seen him in awhile,' you know? And then I went and looked and sure enough, he's gone," she said. “It has been out here literally for four years and just all of a sudden it just disappeared.”

Hampton does have a camera outside her home, but it does not save recordings for very long.

“That’s the poor thing about my camera system. So, I didn’t catch anything. So, I don’t even know when he went missing,” she said.

If someone does find Norman, she said to reach out to her on her Facebook page.