Meaningful dinosaur in Freeburg goes missing

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FREEBURG -  Snow covers the buildings of a small mid-Missouri town, but one building lacks the shelter it once had.

Roy Plassmeyer is the owner of a business in this small town that distributes oil.  It has been around for decades, and so has he, "In these small towns, everybody knows everybody," Plassmeyer said.

But now, something special to him, and the town, is gone.

Freeburg is a small town in Osage County. It is home to just over 400 people and is less than one-square mile.

Plassmeyer started in the Dickneite family oil business when he married the boss's daughter in 1960. He spent a year in St. Louis after saying his vows, but quickly moved back and settled into this welcoming community he has called home for over 50 years, "It's just a nice place to be," Plassmeyer said.

So, when something goes missing in a town as tiny as this, it doesn't take long for the word to get out.

"We just call him Dino, Dino, d-i-n-o," Plassmeyer said.

Dino is the town's five-foot, 10-inch tall, 12-foot long fiberglass friend. He is also the well-known symbol of Sinclair Oil. He's sat atop the shop for the past decade. But one night Dino disappeared.

Plassmeyer said it requires at least three people to carry the dinosaur, and they would have to use a ladder to get to the top of the roof where Dino sat. He hinted that is is no easy task.

But what he initially thought was a silly Halloween prank turned out to be the exact opposite. Leaving young members of the community upset.

"Have the found Dino yet?" Abbigail Moore, a seven-year-old, eagerly asks. But sadly, they have not found Dino, and it left Abbigial in tears, "I was wigged out, because he was my best dinosaur friend ever," Abbigail said. She continued on to explain just how horrible this crime was, "That's not, that's like breaking the rules", she proudly stated.

Plassmeyer reported the theft and Osage County has a deputy on the case.

He hopes Dino will be found, but if not, he has a message for anyone else thinking about stealing Dino, "When the old one comes back or the new one goes up, they'll be surveillance. I guarantee you," Plassmeyer concluded.

If Dino doesn't show up soon, Plassmeyer plans to put down another $3,500 to buy another Dino for the town.