Missouri police seek owner of mysterious antique shotgun found during burglary investigation

Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 16:36:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Police need help to identify a mysterious piece of treasure seized in a recent search.

Last week, detectives served a search warrant on a home as part of a burglary investigation. They found the stolen property they were looking for, but also stumbled upon something they didn't expect.

Detectives recovered an antique shotgun dating back to around the late 1800s or early 1900s. It has an inscription saying it was made by C.G. Bonehill, a London gunmaker from the era. The inscription says it made expressly for Will H. Cruttenden of Casenovia, New York.

Detectives have learned that Cruttenden was a Jeweler in New York who passed away in 1928.

"The shotgun we have has a lot of ornate engravings," Detective Robert Martin said. "It's a beautiful shotgun, but an old shotgun. It needs some TLC, I guess. Because it’s been in some bad situations. But it is a very beautiful shotgun. Once it's redone. We are just trying to find an owner for it because I'd hate to see it destroyed or melted down or anything like that. With it being a nice piece of history and having the history it does behind it."

Martin said he believes the gun is stolen, and if police can't identify an owner it will be destroyed under department policy. Detectives have not been able to find any serial number on the firearm. Police did learn that Cruttenden was a baseball enthusiast, and after his death in 1928 relatives found $40,000 in cash sewn into a mattress at his home.

It's not known if the shotgun has collectible value. The stock is badly damaged.