Caesar, the stuffed monkey, is missing. And the Frederick Police Department is on the case.
Frederick police started the social media search Friday after Caesar’s family reported him missing during the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration.
Lindsey Sera and her husband, Matt, received Caesar as a gift from a loved one shortly after their son, Christian, was born. Christian, who celebrated his first birthday last month, received many toys, but it was Caesar, a smiling brown stuffed monkey who was purchased from Frederick Memorial Hospital’s gift shop, that he really connected with, according to Lindsey. Caesar is rarely out of arm’s length from Christian, so it was natural to take the stuffed animal along for Christian’s first trip to see the fireworks.
“We try to walk down every year. Last year was probably the only year we didn’t and it was because Christian was still a newborn, just 2 weeks old,” Lindsey said Friday. “And because it was the first time that he’s seen fireworks, we were a little nervous about how he’d react, so we gave him his pacifier and Caesar to hold because whenever he’s fussy we always give him those two things and they help calm him down.”
Lindsey remembers Caesar being held firmly by her son in his stroller as the family left for downtown at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The family walked south on North Bentz Street, then turned on Dill Avenue and finally south onto Dulaney Avenue to reach the park, where they found a spot to watch near the baseball diamonds, a prime viewing location, especially for later arrivals.
Unfortunately, Caesar didn’t make it all the way.
“When we got downtown and got settled, I noticed [Caesar] wasn’t in the stroller and I asked my husband, ‘Where’s Caesar? He was in the stroller,’” Lindsey said. “The sidewalks can be really rough in some places, so I don’t know if we hit a rough patch and he fell out, maybe. [Christian] is usually pretty quiet in the stroller, so he wouldn’t start crying right away.”
Conducting a thorough search at night while thousands of pedestrians thronged the streets and sidewalks seemed next to impossible, but Lindsey was up bright and early Friday morning, retracing the family’s steps to the park and back, with no success. Lindsey then walked to Frederick Memorial Hospital to see if she could find a replacement for Caesar, with no success.
Then Lindsey contacted Frederick police, who shared the story on the department’s Facebook page. That post had been shared by more than 1,500 people as of Friday afternoon, while a similar post on Twitter had hit 35 retweets and 43 likes.
Anyone who may have picked up the toy or who finds Caesar downtown is asked to call the Frederick Police Department’s non-emergency line, 301-600-2102, or drop him off at police headquarters next to the front entrance of the county courthouse at 100 W. Patrick St. in Frederick.