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Reward offered for tips leading to return of missing portraits | Community News | Lafayette Online
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Reward offered for tips leading to return of missing portraits

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Lafayette man who is a 1988 Purdue graduate is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the return of portraits that are missing from the Civil Engineering Building, university police announced Thursday (Dec. 4.)

The oil paintings of Marietta S. and Karl H. Kettelhut, a couple who were Purdue graduates and donors to the university, were reported missing Nov. 14. The paintings, located in a stairwell on the building’s west side, were enclosed in a glass case with a wooden frame about 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide with gold flecks in it.

Kettelhut Portrait

Kettelhut Portrait

Lafayette businessman Andy Fristoe, who worked for the Kettelhuts while he was a student, is offering the reward.

“They were a tremendous influence on me and my family, and his company built many buildings on the Purdue campus,” Fristoe said of the Kettelhuts, both of whom are deceased. “These portraits are irreplaceable, and it’s very difficult to see this happen. I just want to see them returned.”

Marietta Kettelhut earned a bachelor’s degree in 1927, and Karl Kettelhut received his bachelor’s degree in 1926 and his master’s degree in 1930. He was posthumously awarded an honorary doctorate from the university in 1991.

The couple founded Kettelhut Construction. A distinguished professorship of structural engineering is named in their honor, as is a structural engineering laboratory on campus.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Purdue Police Department at (765) 494-8221 or its anonymous tipline at (765) 496-3784. The WeTip anonymous hotline also is available at 1-800-78CRIME (1-800-782-7463).

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