Council Bluffs Authorities Investigate Possible Hate Crime

Kelly Bartnick

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Council Bluffs Authorities Investigate Possible Hate Crime

CREATED Sep. 10, 2013

COUNCIL BLUFFS – Authorities are investigating an afternoon house fire in Council Bluffs as a hate crime. Authorities responded to 2720 Avenue A around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Shelly Owens lived at the home with her fiancé and two children. Owens said she was at work Tuesday when she got the call about the fire. Vandals ransacked her home, wrote racial slurs all over the walls, and even used eggs for the vandalism. Owens is white. Her fiancé is African-American. 

The flames took over a bedroom in the home. By Tuesday evening it was boarded up. 

Council Bluffs Police Sgt. David Dawson said the investigation continued Tuesday. He called the circumstances unique and said there had been few problems in the area. He confirmed investigators are considering the vandalism a hate crime. 

"It's not uncommon for someone to commit a crime the daylight, but year we hope someone saw something and we haven't gotten a hold of them yet,” Dawson said. 

No one was home when the vandalism. Owens said she does have renters’ insurance to help with the costs.