Someone is spray painting "Hail Satan" on walls in northern Madison County, and police are seeking the public's help in catching them.
Over the weekend, Salem Baptist Church and Woodland Hills subdivision both were spray painted with phrases like "Hail Satan," "666" and "He's Sexy" on their walls.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department was called to Salem Baptist Church on Seiler Road in rural Madison County at about 12:44 p.m. Friday, when church members found a damaged mailbox and phrases painted in black on the church's white exterior.
At about 8:55 a.m. Saturday, sheriff's deputies were called to the Woodland Hills subdivision, where "Hail Satan" and a cross had been spray painted in white on the brick columns at the entrance to the subdivision. Other property in the area had been spray painted with black paint.
Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz said he could not say whether they thought it was a teenage prank or possible gang activity until those responsible were identified.
"Traditionally we find it's teenage vandalism, but as soon as I say that, it'll be something else," Hertz said.
This kind of graffiti has been seen elsewhere in the county as gang-related, Hertz said, but has not been seen much in the Alton-Godfrey area where Salem Baptist Church and Woodland Hills are located.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Department investigative division at 618-692-0871 or the anonymous tip line at 618-296-3000.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2507.