Update given on Chippewa County church vandalism, person of interest identified

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 10:38 AM CDT
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CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -The Chief of Police with Chippewa Falls Police Department has provided an update on church vandalism that occurred in Chippewa County.

The update courtesy of Chief of Police, Matthew Kelm, says on June 30 at 3:07 p.m. Chippewa Falls Police Department officers responded to the Church of Notre Dame at 117 Allen Street in Chippewa Falls for a report of vandalism.

According to Chief of Police, Kelm, there was written in red spray paint “EX 21:22″ on the sidewalk in front of the church. Also, the sign in front of the church was spray painted in red covering the time and dates of services. The next day on July 1 at 7:11 a.m. Chippewa Falls Police Department Officers responded St. Charles Catholic Church at 810 Pearl Street in Chippewa Falls. Both front doors to the church were spray painted in red with an “X.” On the concrete sidewalk by the front doors was spray painted in red “EX 21:22″, “fetus” and “women.” Later that day at 10:44 a.m. officers responded to Holy Ghost Catholic Church at 412 South Main Street in Chippewa Falls. Both front doors to the church were spray painted with a red “X.”

Chief of Police, Kelm, notes Officers were informed from Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department that on July 1 at 8:07 a.m. they were sent to St. Peters Catholic School in the town of Tilden for a report of vandalism. Deputies found in red spray paint “X”s on the doors and on the sidewalk concrete were the words “women” and “fetuses”.

Officers noted that in addition to the paint color being the same, the handwriting in each case was “consistent.” At this time, the Police Department believes that all of these incidents were carried out by the same person.

Officers identified a person of interest, 29-year-old Shawn Muench. Muench is suspected of carrying out each incident. Despite repeated attempts over the last several weeks, the Police Department hasn’t been able to find and speak to Muench.

In consultation with the Chippewa County DA Office the Police Department has recommended a charge of criminal damage to religious property for Muench.

Chippewa County church vandalism person of interest.
Chippewa County church vandalism person of interest.(COURTESY: CHIPPEWA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT)

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