FBI Portland offers $25K reward for information on arsons at pregnancy resource centers

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:18 AM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - FBI Portland is asking for the public’s help to identify the people responsible for arsons at three separate pregnancy resource centers last year.

The FBI says this is part of a national effort to bring awareness to a series of attacks and threats targeting reproductive health service facilities and pregnancy resource centers across the country.

Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI Portland Field Office, said the agency will aggressively pursue anyone who threatens or uses violence to intimidate their political opponents.

“Vandalism, arson, and threats of violence should not and cannot be acceptable in this, our shared community,” Ramsey said.

The first attack occurred on May 8, 2002, at about 10:38 p.m., at the Oregon Right to Life building at 4335 River Road North in Keizer. Keizer police said 911 callers reported someone throwing multiple Molotov cocktails at the building.

RELATED: Molotov cocktails thrown at Oregon Right to Life building in Keizer

Nearby security footage showed the suspect grabbed something from the trunk of their vehicle and walk towards the building. FBI says a glow could be seen on the video which was determined to be flames from the Molotov cocktail. The suspect may have been driving a white sedan, possibly a 2017-18 Hyundai Elantra, according to the FBI.

The next reported attack was in the early morning hours of June 10, 2022. Gresham police responded to an alarm at the Gresham Pregnancy Resource Center at 104 Northwest 11th Street and found fire inside the building.

RELATED: Suspicious fire causes significant damage at Gresham pregnancy center

The FBI says investigators believe several Molotov cocktails were thrown through a kitchen window of the pregnancy resource center. Several large bottles were found in the kitchen with fire accelerant confirmed on the floor, according to the FBI.

The third attack, an arson and vandalism, happened at Mother and Child Education Center, located at 1515 Northeast 41st Avenue, between 4 p.m. on July 4, 2022, and 8 a.m. on July 6, 2022. According to the FBI, the words “IF ABORTION AINT SAFE NEITHER RU JR” and “JANES RVVGG” were spray painted on the front of the property.

Maura White, the executive director of the Mother and Child Education Center, said she doesn’t understand why people would attack her building. Her nonprofit gives out free items to mainly low-income mothers to help them transition into parenthood, she said.

“When you’re only helping people why would somebody target you?” White said. “The community really came out and supported us really well as far as new donors. They actually covered all of the insurance in terms of the deductible.”

White said she hopes the reward will help the police to find whoever is responsible.

“I want somebody to be found and tried for this to be honest,” she said.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the suspect(s) responsible for these crimes.

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-225-5324, contact their local FBI office, or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You may remain anonymous.