KALISPELL — Claire Feistner has kept her father’s memory alive for the past 20 years with a memorial on a tree, at Upper Thompson Lake near Libby.
A World War II two veteran and an avid fisherman, Feistner and her family filled the tree with her father's favorite things.
“It’s been kinda the visual, vigil place that we go to because we don’t really have anywhere else," said Feistner.
However, she told MTN News that last week when her family went to visit the memorial, the tree was completely empty.
“My niece brought my great niece to stop by there because they hadn’t been there for a while. So, they hunted for it,” Feistner said.
“Maybe we have the wrong tree -- and when they got to town I think they were hesitant to tell me, because they knew I was going to be super sad about it," she added.
Feistner told MTN News that she's searching for answers, “I’m not one hundred percent who it is, I just kind of want to find out who did this.”
She says she’s not sure if someone vandalized and removed the memorial, or if the memorial is a violation of US Forest Service policy.
“I get if it’s a law, totally understand if it’s a law. I don’t know that it is. I know on the highways it’s a law, this is out in the woods. But if it is, at least make an effort to contact the family," Feistner said.
Regardless, the family is hurting at this loss and seeks any information into what happened to their memorial. MTN reached out to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and was not able to get a firm answer as they were not in the office due to Veteran's Day.