Kalispell family asks for help in solving holiday whodunit

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The Grinch jokes with the crowd during the 2018 Kalispell Christmas Parade on Saturday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

A Kalispell family is asking the community to help them find out how a real-life Grinch stole Christmas.

The Kalispell Christmas parade was the last time a custom-made Grinch costume made by resident Tiffany Floden and her mother Denise Robertson was seen before it went missing.

The costume included furry green gloves and pants, a traditional Santa-style red hat and jacket, in addition to a special-effects face mask Floden had another person make.

The only piece of the costume Floden has left after the brazen thievery are the green furry pants her husband, Jake Zakavec, who donned the costume, wore home.

Floden believes the costume was stolen sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. It was being stored at a hotel in South Kalispell that was to be the venue for a special event on Sunday.

Floden, a professional photographer whose company is Tiffany Crystal Photography, had invited families to the special session where children could get their photos taken with the Grinch as a fun spin on photos with Santa.

“We wanted to involve the community and really get them excited about the holidays again,” Floden said.

Floden said she chose to bring Grinch to life because the Dr. Seuss classic story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” reminds people that it’s not presents that make Christmas merry, but rather “it’s about being with your family and spending the time with your family and friends.”

In addition to the costume, two projector lights in red and white, makeup and an oversized Hershey Kiss that was meant to be a giveaway, also are missing. She estimates the loss at $863. The incident also impacted potential revenue and the time family and friends invested to help her make the event a success.

“It’s disappointing, but the biggest thing that got us was that we had to turn kids away Sunday morning,” Floden said noting it was particularly difficult for her husband to tell a young girl dressed like the Dr. Seuss character Cindy Loo Who that the Grinch couldn’t be there, and she then handed him a drawing.

“She said, ‘here is my drawing of the Grinch. Could you give it to him if you see him,’” Floden said.

Floden has filed a police report and hopes the costume will be recovered. And to the person(s) who took the items: “I hope your heart grows three sizes,” she said.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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