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Hate Crime Victims: "This is Cowardly"

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Hate Crime Victims: "This is Cowardly"

By Lindsey Theis. CREATED Sep 11, 2013

Council Bluffs, Iowa--Police say a Council Bluffs couple is the target of a hate crime. Tuesday afternoon at 27th Street and Avenue A, someone torched the home of a couple, Kevin and Shelly. They requested we didn't report their last name.

The suspects ransacked the home before setting a fire. They also graffiti'd racial slurs and pornographic images inside, and threw eggs on the walls. Kevin and Shelly are newly engaged. Shelly and her two sons lived at the home for more than three years. Her fiance a year. The family is bi-racial. Police are investigating the arson as a hate crime.

"It's kind of cowardly. You know someone knows where you live you think they could meet you face to face," Kevin said.

Today, insurance agents and the family tallied up the damage. Investigators say they are interviewing possible suspects, and following up on leads. One neighbor told Action 3 News they saw two mean and a women leave the home around 2:30. Police say they are investigating. Right now, the case is being investigated jointly by Council Bluffs fire and police departments as an arson, burglary, and hate crime. A hate crime conviction could add decades to a possible sentence.

The couple wonders if they'll be safe.

"When somebody does something like this, it's personal. They know you. So I believe that they don't like that far from here. And so with the being said. I don't know how I feel about living here, now that I know that this can happen," Kevin said.