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Hippo statue taken from little girl's grave in Hudson cemetery


HUDSON, Mass. ( -- The family of a 4-year-old who died in 2009 after battling brain cancer is pleading for the return of a statue that stood at the little girl's grave.

Erin Roderick's stuffed hippo became a source of comfort for her and her family while she underwent chemotherapy.

"It was constant treatment, radiation, chemotherapy, surgeries and through it all she had her stuffed hippo with her," says Erin's mother, Michelle.

After she passed away in March 2009, Erin's loved ones placed a statue of a hippo ballerina made by the Disney Company at her grave in the Forestvale Cemetery.

"When you come to the cemetery, it can be a sad and difficult thing so to have this statue reminds us of Erin's love for hippo and all the good times she had with hippo," Michelle explains.

Family members recently visited Erin's grave on what would have been her ninth birthday to find the statue was no longer there. Cemetery workers told the family that they did not move it.

Erin's loved ones are asking for anyone who may know what happened to the heavy plastic statue to step forward. They say the statue is irreplaceable because Disney no longer makes it.