Home Burned, Racial Slurs Painted On Walls


A fire leaves a family with practically nothing left. Investigators are calling it a hate crime.

In the face of the fire, the victims are staying strong. But the words spray painted over the char, dig much deeper. Racial slurs cover the home.

One son points out the worst parts, "they spray painted our food that was in our fridge, everywhere."

Police believe it to be a hate crime. The Owens family agrees.

"They smile in your face, but really there is still racism in council bluffs," said the mother Shelly Owens.

Police are investigating the how and the why of the crime. The answer to the how, is answered very quickly. Spray painted in large black letters on the back door: "Door Unlocked."

As for the why, police tell Owens it has to do with her relationship. She and her fiance are a biracial couple.

"They told me it was a hate crime, and it was pretty much directed at me," said Owens.

It's hard to take in when looking around. Pure hate lettered on the wall.

Owens said her family isn't running away from this. Their neighbors agree, and through acts of kindness, show the Owens family hate crimes will not be tolerated in this neighborhood.

"It's 2013, get over it ya know. Like I said this is only going to make me stronger," said Owens.

Police are following up on leads, continuing to interview neighbors and witnesses. But they are asking, if anyone has any information on this crime to call the anonymous tip line at 712-328-stop.

The family is staying in a motel tonight. They have set up an account for donations. To donate you must go to an American National Bank. The account is "Benefit for Shelly Owens."


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