Vanished: print stolen, sale would benefit children of late Lake Geneva man
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Barbara Krause is looking for a copy of this print, "The Vanishing" by artist Judy Larson, that was stolen from her late brother-in-law's Lake Geneva home Saturday, Nov. 17. The print was to be sold for a college fund for Keith Krause's three young girls File photo.
LAKE GENEVA--Barbara Shouder Krause wonders what kind of person would steal from three little girls who lost their father four months ago.
But she's hoping others with more compassion and integrity will help restore what was taken.
Krause's brother-in-law, Keith Krause, a Lake Geneva resident, died in a roofing accident July 12.
An EMT with the Genoa City Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Keith Krause also worked for Medix Ambulance in Lake Geneva. He was 45, involved in everything from the Cub Scouts to raising money for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
He left behind three daughters, an 8-year-old and 6-year-old twins.
Barbara Krause and her husband, Todd--who is executor of his late brother's estate--have been selling Keith's assets to set up a fund for their nieces' college funds and future expenses.
As part of that effort, they held an estate auction Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Lake Geneva home of Keith Krause.
They sold what had been left of his life: tools, furniture, even a child's backyard play set.
But in a closed room of that house, Barbara and Todd Krause were keeping nine pieces of artwork--not part of the auction--to be sold later.
The day after the auction, Todd Krause discovered one piece was missing. It was a limited edition print of three horses by artist Judy Larson, called "The Vanishing." The print, about 2 feet wide--Barbara Krause wasn't sure of its height--is matted in black with a pewter frame.
It was the most expensive piece of the nine.
"We'd seen one of the prints one e-Bay, going for nearly $2,800," Barbara Krause said. "The lowest we'd seen one going for was $1,200, and that wasn't even matted and framed."
Larson is noted for her paintings within paintings. In "The Vanishing," for instance, one can see the faces of wolves blended into the horses.
Barbara Krause isn't sure how the theft was made, but she suspects it may have been someone local.
"How would they even know the print was in the room? It's very strange. They either knew exactly what they were doing or they got lucky," she said.
She thinks someone at the auction might have spotted the thief carrying out the print.
The Krauses contacted the Walworth County Sheriff's Office, and Barbara Krause has posted the story on a few Facebook pages in hopes someone will provide information. "Even anonymous tips--we don't care," she said.
As an executor, Todd Krause is responsible for the assets, but Baraba Krause said they're much more concerned about the missing money for Keith Krause's three little girls, now living with their mother.
"We just want the print back, and if anyone has information, please call me at (262) 215-5344 or call the Walworth County Sheriff's Office (at (262) 741-4400)," Barbara Krause wrote in her Facebook posts. "If you don't live near me, please pray that the person who took this print will be ashamed and give it back."