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Norwalk Family Searches for Stolen Memorial Cross of Slain Teenager


A memorial cross placed in the memory of 17 year old George McKenna appears to have been stolen in Norwalk and the family would like to have it returned.

A memorial cross placed in the memory of 17 year old George McKenna appears to have been stolen in Norwalk and the family would like to have it returned.

By Brian Hews

The family of a Norwalk teenager who was killed after being hit by a car on the 605 Freeway this past June is in search of a stolen memorial cross that stood at the site where their loved one was killed.

Christina McKenna, the grandmother of 17 year old George McKenna told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in an interview that a homemade concrete cross that bore the name of the teenager said the “memorial marker” went missing near a freeway on-ramp a late last month.

“My grandson was killed on the freeway, and we put a memorial cross in his honor and now it is gone and it appears that someone literally walked off with the memorial,” said McKenna.

“On June 20th, the life of my family changed forever when my grandson got killed, and today we are still feeling the pain of his passing,” the grieving grandmother said with her voice shaking.  “The Memorial was a reminder to the community and to those who loved George that his life should not be forgotten and the person responsible for his death must be found and brought to justice,” Christine McKenna continued.

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper contacted the California Highway Patrol who is investigating the death for an update on the case, but calls were not returned.

“Someone out in our community has this cross, all we want is for it to be returned with no questions asked,” McKenna said.

McKenna said that her grandson had recently lost both his mother and his brother and that she was raising George.

“He loved football and baseball, and his life was just beginning.  This is so sad in so many ways.”

If you have any information about the stolen cross, or information about the death of Geroge McKenna please call Christina McKenna directly at (562) 688-5532 or send an email to [email protected]

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  • Fred says:

    Check with the trash pick-up people.

    By the way, did they take out a permit to erect this “monument” on public property?

  • Peter says:

    My condolences to the family. This is truly a sad event but agree that these “monuments” should not be erected without proper permitting . An interstate on ramp is no place to take solace and reflect on this kids life … His memory lives on through his loved ones and not material things like “monuments “.

  • Noah says:

    One does see the pathos, and not just the unsightliness, in these shrines. However miserable a heap of wrinkled balloons and rain-soaked teddy bears may appear, it symbolizes the anguish of the bereaved in wanting to assure the dead that they are not forgotten. The problem, sad to say, is that the symbols, if not the people, are forgotten. Even the most assiduous mourners are not likely to attend to grave sites daily, which is why these should be located in dedicated places with custodial care. While I would never refer to the display as trash, makeshift memorials abandoned in public space do take on that appearance and character. The votive candles had been broken and glass shards were covering the sidewalk. The notes and decorations had become weathered and unreadable tatters hanging from the fence.

    To clean this up without violating the spirit in which it was built I left a note on the memorial suggesting that it was time for the mourners to collect what they wanted to preserve, and to think about a more lasting tribute to their friend and loved one.* A week later my note was gone and two weeks after that I called CalTrans** and notified them of the hazard. I suspect they removed it soon after.

    **The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), upon request from an immediate family member of a person who was killed by a driver intoxicated with drugs or alcohol, will place and maintain a sign in memory of the victim. Please see the following link for more information:


    Q Does Caltrans allow memorials to be placed along the highway to mark the place where individuals have lost their lives in an accident?

    Highway memorials along the road creates hazardous situations for travelers. As much as we would like to allow grieving friends and relatives to place personal tributes to lost loved ones, it really isn’t safe to locate them along the highway. Unfortunately, displays of this nature can also be a distraction to other drivers, thereby jeopardizing their safety as well. Consequently, Caltrans does not allow memorials to be placed on the state right-of-way.

    P.S. Mr. Economy, it is disappointing that you would refer to this as ‘stolen’. Even a cursory inspection of the site would have revealed it had been cleaned and swept. Such is not the work of a thief. Poor journalism sir, very poor.