Fake skeleton’s bones resting far from home, reward offered to the public

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The staff of Jones Chiropractic Clinic know that the choice to mount a 12-foot tall skeleton on its roof wasn’t exactly a normal one, but they were happy to see him up there all the same. Now, they’re hoping the prop affectionately referred to as Mr. Skelly will be made whole again.

Mr. Skelly was a new addition to the clinic this year. (Photo/WJHL)

“Monday morning I knew it was already gone, ” said Wayde Stuwe, a chiropractic therapy assistant for the clinic. “So driving up to the building and noticing the arms were gone was just sad, to be honest.”

Early Sunday morning, two people allegedly climbed the roof of the business and twisted off the arms of Mr. Skelly. What they may not have realized, however, is that a surveillance system caught them on camera.

Photo: Jones Chiropractic Clinic

The duo was seen entering the business’s lot around 1 a.m., and then recorded running away while carrying the skeleton’s arms shortly after. Another angle caught one suspect sliding over a table during their getaway.

“We got the vehicle on camera, everything short of the license plate and exact details of the face,” Stuwe said. “But other than that we got the two suspects on camera plus carrying two of the arms, so two heavily armed suspects.”

It wasn’t easy to procure the skeleton either, according to business staff. Finding a 12-foot skeleton is no easy feat, and the cost was around $1,000 for the whole thing. It took a few hours to put it together and mount it on the roof. On Wednesday, it was seen swaying in the wind with exposed sockets.

The twist-mounted arms made an easy target for the thieves, clinic staff said. (Photo/WJHL)
Photo: Jones Chiropractic Clinic

“I just want to know why they stole the arms,” Stuwe said. “I was a punk kid once, I know what it’s like to vandalize and do dumb things like that, but I don’t get the whole stealing part. Maybe put them in a funny position, or give them back or whatever. That would be my only question.”

In the meantime, the Johnson City Police Department has been alerted to the theft, and business owners said a detective has been assigned to the case. Since the public has already been passing the skeleton on commutes and clinic visits, business owners decided to offer a reward for any information that helps bring the wayward bones back.

“Just be on the lookout, we’re looking for a white Prius, ” Stuwe said. “If you see any giant skeleton arms, you can let us know.”

Anyone with information on Mr. Skelly’s missing arms can call investigators at 423-434-6158 or the Jones Chiropractic Clinic at 423-929-3700.