Police have suspect in threats to funeral homes

The Post-Crescent/February 12, 2002

A Fox Cities couple has been identified as a member of the Augusta, Wis.-based religious group whose leader was arrested in connection with threats to funeral homes.

Kathryn S. Padilla, 55, of Augusta, was arrested Friday in connection with written threats issued at two Eau Claire funeral homes and police feel is involved in threats to several other funeral homes throughout the state.

Appleton Police Department Lt. Patrick Geenan said the couple was identified through records seized in a search of Padilla's home by Eau Claire police.

He said the threat to the Appleton funeral home, and homes in Green Bay, Wausau, possibly other Fox Valley locations and several western Wisconsin communities, are exactly the same.

Geenan said the group headed by Padilla "does not believe they are burying people according to Christian protocol."

He said the notes read "Because you have heard not the words of the Lord, I take from you your sons and daughters into early graves. Prepare for burial yourself."

He said police have a partial license plate and description of the local couple, and said he hopes to get firm identification soon.

"You could easily take it as a threat and if we make an arrest we will refer it to the (district attorney),"he said.

"With the information they developed out of Augusta we should be able to identify our suspect.

"It does look like we'll be able to close it up this week."

Lt. Eric Larsen of the Eau Claire Police Department said Padilla is expected to be charged for her alleged role.

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