Mystery continues to surround cross found on Fort Lauderdale beach

By Saira Anwer - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The mystery of the washed-up cross continues as people wonder how the 20-foot religious artifact that has become Fort Lauderdale's newest attraction wound up there in the first place.

"We spend a lot of time at the beach in New Jersey and never seen anything like this wash up," said one beachgoer Thursday.

Hotel guests at Ocean Manor Resort are feeling pretty blessed while stopping to take in the barnacle-encrusted cross that washed ashore in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend.

After a few days of spectacle, speculation and the spread of social media, a North Carolina woman believed the cross was the same one erected in 2016 in memory of her brother, Captain Richard Baran.

That cross, Robin Stowe said, was washed away in a storm a few years ago. 

“I got some people start hitting me up, saying 'Hey, Aaron, that cross you made looks like the one that washed up on the beach.'” said Aaron Aaron, the man who built the North Carolina cross.

Aaron says based on photos, he was pretty sure it was the same cross he built.

But in a photo comparison of the cross in Fort Lauderdale and the one built in North Carolina, it does not appear the two are the same.

So while the cross may not be from North Carolina, some beach visitors say it could be a sign from the Devine.

"Fort Lauderdale must need a cross," says Father Morrisey from Philadelphia. "It's a blessing. It’s a reminder we need Christ in our time right now, don’t we? "

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