Copper bust of Orville Wright stolen from monument atop Big Kill Devil Hill

[@Samanth78434259 on Twitter photo]

The copper bust of Orville Wright on the plaza of the Wright Brothers Monument atop Big Kill Devil Hill was stolen overnight, and the granite base where the reproduction bust was mounted has also been toppled.

Samantha Rigney of Kill Devil Hills said she walked to the top of the 90-foot-tall hill to watch the sunrise on Sunday morning when she discovered the vandalism.

The Orville bust sits on the northwest corner of the memorial. [submitted photo]

The busts of both Orville and Wilbur Wright are reproductions. The originals have been stolen and then recovered twice over the past several decades, according to NPS spokesperson Mike Barber.

National Park Service Rangers and local law enforcement officials are investigating the crime.

Anyone with information that could help solve this case are asked to contact Dare County Community Crimeline or the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch.

The National Park Service ISB Tip Line is 888-653-0009 and accepts calls and texts. Online tips can be submitted at

“Big Kill Devil Hill may be closed to visitors for a period of time today while the investigation continues,” Barber said.

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Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.