We’re digging deeper into a mystery in Oro Valley, that has gone unsolved for eight years.

If you’ve driven along La Caada, you’ve probably noticed the metal tortoise on side of the road, just north of Tangerine. Now, just in time for the town’s 50th anniversary celebration, we got to the bottom of who has been making the sculpture such a staple of the Oro Valley Community.

In the dark of night, the Tortoise Fairy as she’s been dubbed, has been sneaking out with her husband before every holiday or big event to decorate the metal tortoise that so many people have come to love.

“We wanted people to get a little bit of a laugh, a smile and a laugh,” the mysterious fairy said. “So we always tried to not only make it be like the holiday, but to add a little bit humor in there somehow. And it really caught on!”

But years of building the costumes, props and signs have taken a toll on this fairy — not to mention all the duct tape she has bought — so she’s getting ready to hang up her wings, and finally agreed to reveal her true identity.

Introducing Lisa Powell. She’s the creative force behind “Eat tacos responsibly” for Cinco de Mayo, the tortoise school bus in the fall, “Set your scales back ten pounds at Thanksgiving,” and even the tortoise version of “The Thing.”

“It’s a little surprising how much people did take a liking to it,” Powell said. “And when they talk about it, it’s like this is what makes us community, and this is why I love to live here.”

Powell’s labor of love has faced the elements through the years, rain, snow, 60 mile an hour winds. There’s been the occasional javelina, and even a brief run-in with the law.

“One evening,” she explained, “my husband and I were decorating it and the police came. So the lights were going and we were like, ‘We’re busted!’ Then the police officer came around our car and he was like, ‘Oh! Carry on… I gotta text my wife and kids and let them know I saw the Tortoise Fairy.”

On another rare occasion when she got caught, Powell says the man who spotted her got emotional. He had been looking for her for three years, just to tell her how much his late parents loved taking their picture in the Valentine’s Day frame.

“It was something that his parents love to come to,” Powell said. “And it was the last picture he had of them smiling together.”

But while this Tortoise Fairy is retiring, this isn’t the end.

A whole group of Tortoise Fairies have now inherited all of her decorations, to carry on the tradition.

Powell says while she’s grateful she won’t be going out anymore under the shade of darkness every month, she’s even happier the community has come to love this effort as much as she does.

Because the metal tortoise has become so popular, Powell will actually be appearing in the parade for Oro Valley’s 50th anniversary celebration. You can look for her, decked out in a tortoise shell and wings, with a big Tortoise Fairy sign.