Stolen Chouteau fountain statue found in pieces; suspect in custody

Posted at 2:28 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 15:28:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, police say a 400-pound, 7-foot-tall statue has been recovered in pieces after it was sheared from its bolts at the François Chouteau and Native American Heritage Fountain earlier this week.

The statue of the Osage woman, depicted trading with Kansas City's founding father François Chouteau, was taken sometime between Aug. 2 and Aug. 4, police said.

With the public's help, KCPD said detectives found a large portion of the statue, but it was cut into pieces prior to its recovery.

Clay County prosecutors have charged Charles Fuentes, 56, with the Class D felony of receiving stolen property in connection to the crime,

He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

Fountain founders told KSHB 41 News the sculpture by Kwan Wu was worth $80,000.

The François Chouteau and Native American Heritage Fountain is located near Northeast Chouteau Trafficway and Northeast Parvin Road.

Anyone with more information about the case is still asked to call the Shoal Creek Property Crimes Detectives at 816-413-3600.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.