Denver, Colo., Dec 1, 2022 / 14:40 pm (CNA).
The FBI is offering a $17,500 reward for credible leads in the arson of a a pro-life pregnancy center in northern Colorado that is still under investigation after five months.
Longmont Police Chief Jeff Satur told a Wednesday press conference that investigators have few leads, the Denver Gazette reported. Investigators are again asking for aid from anyone with local video from the time of the crime, this time from a wider area. They are also analyzing the handwriting of the vandals’ graffiti messages. One message was in cursive while the other was not.
“I believe there were probably two people there,” Satur said, noting that handwriting can be recognizable. “At some point we’re going to get the right lead.”
The fire took place early Saturday morning on June 25 and drew a response from Longmont Public Safety at 3:17 a.m.
The Life Choices pregnancy center in Longmont sustained fire and heavy smoke damage. The front of the building also was defaced with pro-abortion slogans, including “Bans Off Our Bodies.” The threatening phrase “If abortions aren’t safe neither are you,” was written in cursive with black spray paint.
The suspected arson took place in the wake of the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the pro-abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and returned the question of legal abortion to the states.
Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of $2,500 for information related to the case. The FBI’s offered reward is an additional $17,500. The FBI will take tips through its website or its tip line 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Life Choices on its website describes itself as “a Christ-centered ministry providing education, support, healing, and limited medical services for sexual life choices.” Its offerings include free pregnancy tests, clothes, and baby supplies.
Since the arson attack, the organization appears to be doing well.
Holly Hooten, director of client services at Life Choices, told the Denver Gazette “it’s only been great since the vandalism occurred.”
“In the end it was like God brought everyone out of the woodwork to pray for us and support the work here,” she said.
Satur said the FBI has done “heavy lifting” on the investigation through search warrants, subpoenas, and court orders.
Catholic churches, crisis pregnancy centers, and other pro-life groups have been on heightened alert about possible attacks by militant pro-abortion activists angered by the Supreme Court’s abortion decision.
Backlash began soon after the court’s draft decision was leaked in early May.
As of Sept. 22, CNA had recorded attacks on 33 churches, 55 pregnancy centers, three political organizations, and one maternity home since early May where the public evidence points to a pro-abortion motive. The crimes include vulgar graffiti, property damage, threats, theft, and even arson.
Some of the reported vandalism incidents appear to be copycat attacks. Several of the graffiti incidents featured the threatening phrase “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” which reports indicate first appeared on a pro-life pregnancy center in Wisconsin in early May.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, in remarks to a Nov. 15 hearing of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, reaffirmed the bureau’s commitment to investigating crimes against pro-life groups and churches. Wray reported that since the Dobbs decision, pro-life organizations have faced about 70% of abortion-related threats. About 20 FBI field offices and joint terrorism task forces are investigating these crimes.
“My view — plainly expressed to all of our people, including in the context of abortion-related violence — is that I don’t care what side of the issue you’re on, you don’t get to engage in violence, and we are equal-opportunity when it comes to that,” Wray said.
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