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New Clues May Bring Police Closer To Church Vandalism Suspect

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An image of some of the damage from the crime (credit: CBS)

An image of some of the damage from the crime (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators searching for the vandal or vandals responsible for heavily damaging a church in Aurora on Easter Sunday are looking into some DNA evidence in their attempt to solve the case.

So far there’s no description for who the vandal who damaged St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church on March 31 was, but the priest there thinks he knows how they did it.

Father Jim Gilchrist told CBS4 he thinks they took a rock from the prayer garden, smashed a window and crawled in, and then trashed the place.

They ransacked the worship area, shot off fire extinguishers and stole cash and checks from the office.

“It was so absolutely disappointing that someone would do that,” Gilchrist told CBS4.

Approximately to $56,000 in damage was done.

Whoever did it also cut their finger, and DNA of the blood has been sent in for testing to the state crime lab.

“They took the children’s processional cross, battered it out, he tried to kick the door into the office and couldn’t get in that way,” Gilchrist said. “He knocked this window out. We assumed this is where he cut himself, because then we started seeing blood smears.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

It might be a while for the DNA results to come back, so investigators working on the case are renewing their plea that anyone with information that might be helpful to the investigation call Aurora police.

Meanwhile, Gilcrest hasn’t had to look far for support. Their story went international, and before he knew it, his small Episcopal church was getting calls from “across all spectrums” including Catholics, Mormans, evangelical Lutherans and Presbyterians.

He said the words of encouragement from near and far were “absolutely delightful.”

Gilchrist said the damage that was done has cost this church a lot of money, but it hasn’t shaken their faith.

“It was an opportunity to talk about what the true Easter message is and it’s forgiveness. Whoever this person is we forgive him,” he said.

The church has installed a security system since the crime.

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