EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Dozens of artifacts are missing, and a local archaeologist is devastated. She says someone stole them, and she's desperate to get them back.
Over the past 25 years, archaeologist Karen Supak of Evansville has gathered a variety of artifacts including Native American pottery, historic bottles and arrow heads.
Most of them are donated items she uses to teach.
Now, she says her teaching collection, dating back to as far as 6000 B.C., is gone.
She says she stored the items in a suitcase and put it in her car near Riverside and Shawnee. She was planning to take it to kid's career day at the children's museum Saturday, but someone else got to it first.
Supak says a majority of the historical pieces can't be replaced. She believes the thief could be attempting to sell the stolen stuff on the black market.
The thought crushes her because she says not only does her collection have sentimental value, but it gave people, especially children, a chance to connect with history.
"It is devastating for me personally in that it did take me 25 years to collect these things," Supak, Owner and Archaeologist of Indiana Jane, says. "It was heartwrenching. It still is heartwrenching. I've cried many tears about it simply because it was something that I enjoyed being able to do for people, a connection that I enjoyed being able to make."
Supak cannot offer a reward, and other than in a police report, she isn't allowed to put a monetary value on the items. It's because professionals in the industry swear to a code of ethics.
Evansville police are aware and investigating, but Supak says all she wants is her collection back. No questions asked.