Joyland's organ-playing mascot Louie the Clown appears at a daily police briefing in the Wichita City Hall police headquarters, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Wichita, Kan.
Mike Hutmacher—AP
February 19, 2015 10:09 PM EST

An iconic mechanical clown that went missing from its home at a shuttered Wichita, Kansas amusement park more than 10 years ago ago turned up Tuesday in the house of a convicted sex offender, authorities said.

Louie the Clown, a life-sized, perma-smiling, cone-hatted doll, spent decades at the keys of a Wurlitzer organ at the Joyland Amusement Park.

Generations of locals remember him from their childhood. But Joyland closed in 2004, and Louie disappeared from the property a year or two later. In 2010, Louie was reported stolen, triggering public fascination with his whereabouts.

Then Wichita police got a phone tip that led them to the home of Damian Mayes, 39, who used to build and repair organs at the park and is now serving a prison term for child sex crimes…

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