TEBBETTS, Mo. (KMIZ)
Five people have been arrested in connection with a church that was vandalized in Callaway County.
The 143-year-old historically-black church suffered smashed windows and other damage.
Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism said vandals hit Oakley Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church sometime between Jan. 22 and 23.
A week after the vandalism was first reported, deputies arrested Bradyn Holzhauser, 18, of Jefferson City; Matthew Myers, 17, of Jefferson City; Dylan Smith, 17, of Jefferson City and two 16-year-old juveniles for their involvement in the residential burglary/property damage to the church.
All five arrested face charges for felony offenses of burglary and property damage.
Holzhauser, Myers, and Smith were booked into the Callaway County Jail and have been released awaiting court hearings.
The juveniles were transferred to the 13th Circuit Court Juvenile Office and placed under the immediate supervision of local juvenile officers.
Sheriff Chism said that as of now there is no relation between this vandalism and the vandalism that occurred at the church in Holtz Summit.
He said a hate crime is not shown at this point, and if evidence becomes available in future days that it could be, an investigative team will look into it further.
The 143-year-old church suffered smashed windows and other damage. The church was a part of life in Tebbetts and was founded by Black residents of Callaway County in 1878. It has been unused for several decades.
Chism said the community was a huge help in working together with law enforcements by providing leads that eventually led to the arrests.