Edmond Police Release Photos OF Suspect Who Vandalized Crucifix

Thursday, November 13th 2014, 7:07 pm
By: News 9

Police here are trying to figure out who is behind a spate of criminal acts against a local religious icon.

The crucifix at St. John the Baptist Church, at 9th & Boulevard, was stolen last month. It was returned a week later, but has since been targeted, twice, by vandals; most recently, last week.

Security cameras are now giving investigators a look at the possible suspect. The images are not very clear, but do show a person who, police believe, took a marker to the crucifix twice in a week's time.

As much as the church tries to wash it away, it's still extremely disturbing to some parishioners.

"The crucifix in the Catholic Church is a remembrance of the fact that Christ died on the cross for us," said Karen Morton, a member of the church.

Morton owns the Sacred Heart gift shop, at 2nd & Broadway, which is filled with all types of religious artifacts.

"We have crucifixes and statues of the different saints," said Morton.

10/5/2014 Related Story: Edmond Catholics Rejoice After Jesus Statue Returned

She takes it personally that vandals are desecrating the crucifix at her church, just a few blocks away.

"It's really disheartening," said Morton, "you think that it's probably kids, maybe, doing vandalism, and then, on the other hand, you think, well there's kind of been an attack on Christianity."

From the surveillance images, it's hard to tell the age of suspect, but the cameras did capture a man in the first incident on Oct. 31, writing "burn in hell, 6-6-6" across Jesus's chest. The church tried to wash it away, but the vandal came back a week later.

"This vandalism is someone walking by, walking through the area around 7:30 in the morning," said Edmond police spokesperson Jenny Wagnon-Monroe.

Edmond police reviewed the video, but are running out of leads. They say the suspect's bag is distinct enough that someone may remember seeing him.

"Someone in that area can probably tell us at least what direction they went," said Wagnon-Monroe, "or if they got into a car, or if they went into a different building -- any little bit of information at this point will help."

And any help solving the crime would help restore Karen Morton's faith in humanity.

"I think it's really sad that people feel they have to target, really anything," said Morton, "and destroy someone's property and something that means so much to a lot of the people in the church."

Police do not believe the person responsible for the vandalism to the crucifix is connected to the earlier abduction.