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'I will make your church go bye bye': Woman charged after allegedly threatening twice to blow up church
Screenshot of image sent from Jefferson County Jail

'I will make your church go bye bye': Woman charged after allegedly threatening twice to blow up church

A woman in Missouri has been arrested after officials claim she sent yet another message threatening to blow up a nearby church.

On January 26, an employee with Grace Life Church in Pevely, Missouri — located along the Mississippi River about 30 miles south of St. Louis — received a disturbing text message from an unfamiliar number. According to a sworn probable cause statement from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the message said: "I will make your church go bye bye. [It] wouldn’t be the first time I cause a building to go bye bye."

The message also allegedly promised that the sender would be in the church's parking lot on the following Sunday, the day of the week when the church and its parking lot are most likely to be full. The church's website indicates that Grace Life offers three separate Sunday services: at 8:30, 10:00, and 11:30 a.m.

The employee who received the threatening message "suffer[ed] a large amount of emotional distress, to the point the victim hired private security," the affidavit stated. When investigators learned about the nature of the threat, they immediately identified a possible suspect: 46-year-old Ann Marie Schmidt, who is believed to have made a threat against the church once before.

On January 27, deputies arrived at Schmidt's residence and conducted a "Mirandized and recorded interview" with her there. During the course of their conversation, Schmidt allegedly admitted that she had sent the threatening text through a messaging app on her phone. When investigators then searched Schmidt's phone, they found the messaging app and determined that the "assigned phone number in the text messaging application matched the phone number the text message was sent from," the affidavit stated.

The affidavit also indicated that Schmidt had "made a similar threat" against Grace Life Church less than a year ago. On April 23, Schmidt allegedly sent a message "with similarly used verbiage" threatening to blow the church up. In November, she was charged with second-degree making a terrorist threat, a class E felony, in connection to the incident.

Schmidt was then arrested in connection to the January threat and charged with first-degree harassment, another class E felony, which carries up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She has been booked into the Jefferson County Jail and is currently being held without bond. She is expected to appear in court on Wednesday for a bond review.

Law & Crime reportedly sent requests for comment to Stephen Michael Vighi, Schmidt's attorney, as well as an attorney for the church, but neither attorney had responded.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →