HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Jefferson County Sherriff Dave Marshak said Wednesday that detectives found a tiny home stolen from south St. Louis this weekend. The home was located Wednesday morning. They working to notify the owner.
Marshak said, "I believe the owner was on several local news channels."
Meghan Panu was featured on FOX4's sister station in St. Louis FOX 2 this weekend. She was building a tiny house in south St. Louis and got a call Saturday morning (Dec. 15) asking her if she had moved home. She had not.
Panu called St. Louis city to see if her tiny home had been towed from where it was parked for the past month and a half near Gravois and Michigan avenues. It had not.
The tiny home had been stolen. She told Fox 2 the possibility she may not get her tiny home back is "devastating." She began building the tiny home as part of her senior thesis in environmental studies at Webster University. It started as a trailer and a plan to live with less. She has been working on the tiny house for nearly two years and documented her journey on social media along the way.
Detectives located this TinyHouse in House Springs, Mo. this morning, and are working to locate the owner (reported stolen from St. Louis City). I believe the owner was on several local news channels. @SLMPD @FOX2now @KMOV @ksdknews @KPLR11 @ChristineDByers @ktrs_news @MyMoInfo pic.twitter.com/W40qe2vKh7
— Sheriff Dave Marshak (@SheriffMarshak) December 19, 2018
During the construction phase, she kept the trailer in Ballwin, Webster Groves, and then south city.
"We were working eight-hour days, several days out of the week," she said. "So, I would go from my classes at Webster, and I would drive out to Ballwin and work on the house, and I loved that. I loved the hustle of that."
Panu had plans to move the tiny house again this week to an intentional living community which would showcase shipping container homes, Earthbag homes, and other tiny homes. She intended to move into the tiny house in the spring.
Panu estimates she invested $20,000 dollars into her tiny home - $1,500 of which she received from the public through a GoFundMe campaign, but the money is not the part that upsets her most.
"There's such little regard for the effort, and the time, and the love that I've put into this, and I think that's what's the most frustrating to me - that it's not just a material possession. It's not just a car. It's a place where I was going to sort of build roots and grow in my community."
Panu said there are some unique features on her tiny home that make it easily identifiable including two large green windows, the brown stained cedar siding, and the tin roof.