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Police Identify Suspect in Bomb Threat

Police Identify Suspect in Bomb Threat

Posted - Dec. 30, 2004 at 11:00 a.m.



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CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) -- Police identified a suspect behind last weekend's bomb threat against two churches but won't charge the man, a patient at a mental health facility here.

"The suspect felt he had premonition or a vision of the bombing and, not knowing who he could trust in his own mind, he just typed a letter warning us of the bombing," Cedar City Police Detective Mike Bleak told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The man dropped another message in the mail, apologizing for relaying the warning, but that note has yet to surface.

The bomb threat warned that an anti-Catholic group would set off explosives Sunday at Christ the King Catholic Church in Cedar City.

But it also warned St. Jude's Episcopal Church was a target, and that church canceled Sunday service. The Catholic church held a mass under police protection.

Pastors of the two churches held a prayer service for the suspect.

Police didn't release his name.

Bleak said the suspect is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who typed his warning on the outside of an envelope, then dropped it in a Cedar City mail box.

The envelope wasn't addressed or stamped and surfaced at a Provo mail processing center, which handles all of southern Utah's mail, after being manually sorted.

Bleak said the man won't be charged because he didn't intend to threaten anyone, only to warn that someone else would set off the bombs at both churches. Police found no explosives at either church.

The case, which involved the FBI and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, was closed.

The Episcopal Diocese of Utah said it was the first time any of its churches faced a bomb threat.

"I'm praying that the healing Jesus touch the heart and mind of the person who hears voices and that the individual's mind will be made clear of reality," said the Rev. Daniel J. Webster, who traveled from the diocese's Salt Lake office for the prayer service.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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