UPDATE: Person of interest in “Waster” letters to churches spoke with officials

UPDATE: McMinn County Sheriff’s officials say they have made contact with person of interest Bob Chapman.

They say he assured them he was only expressing his religious beliefs.

McMinn County deputies will continue to monitor this situation.


McMinn County, TN (WDEF)- The McMinn County Sheriff’s Office releases pictures of a person of interest from letters being signed from the "waster" left at local churches.

Officials say there are no specific threats in the letter, but a verse referenced along with previous church violence makes people nervous.

The letter is usually a photocopy of the same letter and dropped off at churches overnight.

Churches in McMinn, Monroe, and Blount Counties have gotten them along with Murray County, Georgia.

The scripture quoted is Isaiah 54:16: “Behold I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.”

The person of interest is Robert "Bob" Chapman.

He’s believed to have delivered the letter to a Monroe County and a Blount County church and matches the description of a man of a man photographed leaving a letter at a church in McMinn County.
Monroe Sheriff Tommy Jones said, "This is not a criminal investigation. We would just like to check with Mr. Chapman’s intentions. And we want our churches to be aware of a general description and what we have so far." 

Officials wanted to let other churches know what’s going on and to be on the lookout for this person of interest.

They say if you get a strange envelope to not open, but contact law enforcement.

Also contact law enforcement if you know anything about this situation or the person of interest.

Categories: Crime, Local News, McMinn County

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