DNA from a partially eaten burrito links a suspect to the Mother’s Day firebombing of an anti-abortion group in Wisconsin, investigators say.
Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, 29, was held on Tuesday for allegedly using the incendiary device on 8 May 2022.
No-one from the group was in the office in the state capital of Madison at the time of the attack, and no injuries were reported.
Police say a Molotov cocktail started the fire at Wisconsin Family Action.
Mr Roychowdhury was arrested at Boston’s airport on Tuesday before boarding a one-way fight to Guatemala City, the US Attorney’s Office in Madison says.
He was charged with attempting to cause damage by means of fire or an explosive, a felony. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Someone had spray-painted outside the building during last year’s attack at Wisconsin Family Action: “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either.”
Although DNA was recovered from a Mason jar at the scene, authorities spent nearly a year searching for the person they say committed the crime. They had very few leads – until earlier this month.
That’s when local law enforcement officers, who had identified Mr Roychowdhury as a potential suspect, say they followed him to a car park where he discarded a fast-food bag.
“Law enforcement retrieved the bag from the trash. The contents of the bag included a quarter portion of a partially eaten burrito wrapped in waxed paper,” court documents state.
Officials sent the burrito and the contents of the bag to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for testing.
“The results from the ATF laboratory indicate the DNA collected from the contents of the brown paper bag is a match to the DNA of ‘Male 1’ that was recovered from evidence at the arson,” court documents say.
“Mr Roychowdhury used an incendiary device in violation of federal law in connection with his efforts to terrorize and intimidate a private organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division in a statement.
Brendan Kelley, a federal public defender who is listed as Mr Roychowdhury’s attorney in court documents, did not immediately return requests for comment.
Source : BBC