Claude, Lois Jaillet Find 3-Foot, 100-Pound Statue In Driveway Tuesday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The gnome is home!

Just after CBS 2 brought you the story of a New Jersey couple’s missing family heirloom, the treasured garden statue was mysteriously right back where he belonged, CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported Tuesday.

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The Jaillet family of East Hanover had been wondering what happened to a garden gnome that suddenly vanished after standing unmoved for three decades.

“It’s an answered prayer, that’s for sure,” Lois Jaillet said.

Lois Jaillet and her husband, Claude, spent part of the morning returning their beloved garden gnome to its prominent place in their front yard. The 3-foot, 100-pound statue had been in the family for 50 years, and in the yard for 30 years until it went missing last month.

“He’s been a special gnome all these years,” Lois Jaillet said before the gnome was found. “He’s been 30 years with us, and the kids love him. We love him. And it was my mother-in-law’s before it was ours.”

Flyers were posted, and a reward was offered. But for weeks, there was no sign of the gnome.

“We would love to see him come back – even if it’s in the middle of the night like he left — just come back put him back there,” Lois Jaillet said.

But less than 24 hours after CBS 2 reported the story, the gnome magically reappeared.

“It was behind the truck, just sitting in the driveway, calling for help,” Claude Jaillet said.

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Claude Jaillet said he was on his way to the barber shop, so he was backing out of his driveway in one vehicle when he noticed that the gnome was resting behind his other vehicle.

“It was all of the attention that brought it back,” he said.

The couple credited the media for bringing the gnome home.

“I thank them very much for all of the attention,” Claude Jaillet said.

“It couldn’t have been our few little posters. It had to be all the media working together for our little gnome, and I’m just so pleased and so appreciative,” added Lois Jaillet. “I don’t know how he got there or how he got back, but I’m very happy he did.”

The Jaillets said they are thinking about moving the gnome inside for safe keeping, but for now he is back in the yard.

“I’m all for putting him in the middle of the living room carpet but my husband said he’s a garden gnome and he belongs in the garden,” she told 1010 WINS. “We have to just think up a security system for him because he belongs out there.”

The gnome sustained minor damage. So far, no one has tried to claim the reward money for its safe return.

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