SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A century-old bell that went missing from a Springfield church earlier this month has been returned.

The Rev. Don Goodenow of Bissell United Methodist Church tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that a local antique dealer returned the bell. Goodenow says the dealer told him he bought the bell not knowing it was stolen. The dealer's wife read about the missing bell and connected the dots.

The Sangamon County Sheriff's Office said Monday that the theft remains under investigation.

Goodenow says the roughly 2 to 3-foot-tall bell sat outside on a pedestal. He says it is the only artifact that survived a 1994 arson fire at the original church, which was built in 1917. The reverend says he never doubted the bell would be returned but is surprised it happened so soon.

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Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com