Tree planted in memory of W. Hartford student destroyed

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A tree in West Hartford that was a memorial for a young boy was hacked down and destroyed.

A sprawling White Oak was placed on the playground at Duffy Elementary School on Westminster Drive in honor of 10-year-old Connor Sorensen, who died two years ago in a tubing accident

Police said they were notified Sunday afternoon that the memorial tree was found in the middle of a basketball court at Duffy Elementary School.

In addition to the tree, a park bench was cut in an effort to destroy it.

Police said the destruction of property occurred sometime between 3 p.m. Friday and noon on Sunday.

One witness said she found a "double-bladed handsaw."

"It was obviously cut intentionally," said West Hartford police Sgt. Eric Rocheleau. "The tree was sawed in half about three to four feet off the ground and then the tree was dragged away and left on the basketball courts."

Police canvassed the neighborhood, but with no witnesses or security cameras, it's not going to be easy finding out who did this.

"I'd ask him why," witness Amanda Blanchard said. "It's for a little kid. There's no reason."

Two of Connor's sisters attend the Duffy Elementary School and school officials said the incident has been troubling for the entire Duffy community.

Parents told Eyewitness News it hurts more because in a week and a half, it would have been Connor's birthday.

Students picked flowers and attached ribbons around what used to be Connor's tree.

No arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at 860-523-5203.

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