Two severed deer heads were found near signs supporting Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Black Lives Matter movement in Oregon, police said.
Officers in Lake Oswego were alerted to the disturbing discoveries on Thursday and are now asking for the public’s help in tracking down those responsible.
The first grisly find was made early Thursday near a Biden-Harris political sign at an intersection, while the second deer head was spotted three hours later near a Black Lives Matter placard, police said in a statement Friday.
Investigators are looking into the incidents as potential bias crimes, but aren’t ruling out the possibility that animals may have decapitated the deer and left their remains behind, a Lake Oswego police sergeant told The Oregonian.
“There are hunters in town and it is deer hunting season,” Sgt. Tom Hamman said. “They will often dispose of the deer heads after cleaning out the animals. Maybe someone disposed of it improperly and an animal got ahold of it.”
Hamann claimed that “people are losing their minds” over the incidents, citing increased tension ahead of Tuesday’s election while cautioning people not to make assumptions.
“We, of course, have to be careful not to do that and follow the facts where they lead us,” Hamann told the newspaper.
Police are now interviewing residents in the Palisades neighborhood of Lake Oswego and searching for video in hopes of solving the mysterious finds.
Peggy Lant, who lives at a home where one of the heads were found, said she had signs backing both Biden-Harris’ ticket and Black Lives Matter on her front lawn.
“It’s a horrifying incident,” Lant told The Oregonian. “I feel like we’ve been really violated.”
Lant, a mother of two Asian American teens, said police told her both heads were found in white trash bags and were removed before she even realized they were there, according to the report.
“I felt like I had been physically attacked,” Lant said. “I felt like my safety was gone. I felt like my dignity was gone and my children were in danger.”
A message seeking comment from Lake Oswego police was not immediately returned early Tuesday. A police spokesperson told NBC News Monday that no arrests had been made in the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Lake Oswego police at (503) 635-0238.
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