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Search on for vandal who destroyed statues at Colorado's state Capitol

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Authorities are searching for the vandal who destroyed statues and furniture early Sunday inside Colorado’s state Capitol building.

Posted: Jan 29, 2019 7:51 AM

DENVER, Colo. (KCNC) -- Authorities are searching for the vandal who destroyed statues and furniture early Sunday inside Colorado’s state Capitol building. Firefighters made the startling discovering around 5 a.m. when they responded to a fire alarm.

They found three busts and a smaller statue of former legislators broken into pieces.

The perpetrator threw some of the busts from the second floor down to the first floor, knocking sculpted heads off torsos. Authorities also found marble pedestals smashed, wooden chairs crushed and glass cabinets shattered. The vandal even smeared blood along a golden railing.

“Why would they do this?” asked Kelly Nelsch, a Colorado native.

Jay Gardner, who walked with Nelsch around the Capitol, was also puzzled by the crime.

“Speaking as a criminal justice major myself, it boggles the mind,” Gardner told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

“If you’re angry at the government or at the Colorado Capitol, there are other ways to go about that rather than breaking in and vandalizing the place,” Nelsch said. “I’ve been going here since I was little with my grandmother… and field trips when I was younger. And I think it’s such a beautiful building… I wouldn’t think anybody would be able to break into there.”

A Denver police spokesperson said there were no signs of forced entry. Investigators did not know how the vandal got into the building.

Authorities were also working to figure out why the suspect destroyed priceless art.

“There were busts from both republicans and democrats that were attacked. It was very random. And there was no spray paint, no graffiti, no message left. And no real motive that would say why this crime actually occurred,” said Captain Daniel Haley, a spokesperson for the Colorado State Patrol executive security unit.

Police had not made an arrest. Investigators, however, believed they had plenty of information, including surveillance video, to lead them to a suspect.

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Snow showers have left the area and we saw anywhere from 2-4 inches of snow. Surface temperatures for the most part remain above freezing so accumulations were mostly on elevated and grassy surfaces. Skies slowly cleared throughout the day with temperatures warming into the mid to upper 40s. Conditions look to dry out and slowly warm throughout the next few days. Rain chances will return mainly through the morning hours on Friday with temperatures back in the 60s. Temperatures will continue to warm through the weekend with highs back in the upper 60s and lower 70s. Temperatures will be close to 80s for the beginning of next week under mostly sunny skies.
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