HAVERHILL, Mass. (AP) — A mayor in Massachusetts is outraged that someone stole a baby Jesus statue from a church’s Nativity scene and replaced it with a pig’s head.
Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini says the desecration has “all the elements of a hate crime.”
The parish priest noticed the statue had been taken from the creche at Sacred Hearts Roman Catholic Church on Christmas morning.
Police say the pig’s head left in its place appears to have been recently severed, and investigators are seeking help from butcher shops and pig farms. Police say the perpetrator could face animal cruelty charges.
Meanwhile, a neighbor replaced the baby Jesus with one from her own creche.
The baby Jesus figurine was also stolen from the Nativity scene on Greenfield Town Common, likely before dawn on Christmas Eve.