Police preserve deceased grandson’s handprint

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

ST. PAUL — A St. Paul police officer has helped preserve a 1-year-old boy’s handprint on a pane of glass to comfort a grieving grandmother.

Shari Wagner’s grandson, Abraham Flynn, was accidentally hit and killed by a van in April. Wagner said she later noticed a small handprint when sunlight struck a wood-and-glass display case in her living room.

Wagner feared Abraham’s handprint would disappear, but Officer Mark Lundquist was able to preserve it using forensic techniques. Lundquist, who did the work Monday, volunteered to help the family after Wagner reached out to her childhood friend, a retired St. Paul police officer.

Email newsletter signup

“I said, ‘Let’s do this right,’” Lundquist said. “This is the first time I’ve done anything like this.”

The St. Paul Police Department also plans to create a poster-sized piece of artwork from the images for the family.

“In the lab, we don’t get a chance very often to help people who are still alive, so it’s nice to do what we can,” said Sgt. Robert Kruse, a supervisor in the forensic services unit.

According to a press release, the toddler was playing in the snow when a man unknowingly backed into the boy as he moved a large panel van to plow his driveway during a winter storm. The Polk County District Attorney’s Office said the case against Elmquist was presented and declined for prosecution.

The Wagners described Abraham as a child who was “always smiling” and the “joyful light to our family.” His grandmother said she plans to have an artist turn Lundquist’s images into jewelry.

“It’s important that his sweet little life goes on with positivity and goodness,” she said.