Missoulians and students at Hellgate High School are still mourning the loss of Hellgate teenager Chance Geery, and now they're outraged after learning a piece of a trophy given to the school in his honor is lying at the bottom of the Clark Fork River.
In April of 2013, Geery was walking on the sidewalk of Mullan Road with his girlfriend when he was struck by a car and killed. The driver was sentenced to 30 days house arrest.
Geery was a football player and was well liked at Hellgate.
After his death, Geery’s father, Todd Geery, unveiled a trophy he created and gave it to Hellgate High School to honor his son's memory. Less than 7 months later, a piece of it -- a sword -- was stolen and later cast into the Clark Fork River near the Higgins Avenue Bridge.
Students were able to spot the sword in the water on Thursday, and we’re told the fire department will use a boat on Friday to try to recover it.
“Who would do that to a memorial of someone who did so much for Hellgate?” said Brandon Sitz, a friend of Geery. “You don’t steal something and throw it off a bridge.”
“I think something definitely needs to be done about it,” said Dylan Lewis, another friend of Geery’s. “Messing with someone isn’t the coolest thing to begin with, but messing with someone who’s dead...That’s not cool.”
According to the Missoula Police Department, investigators have a person of interest in the theft, but officers have yet to make an arrest.
Our calls to the principal of Hellgate High School for more information and comment were not returned.