UPDATE: LDS church graffiti now being investigated as a hate crime

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Graffiti reading "God is dead" left on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church building on Harrison Street in Twin Falls is now being investigated as a hate crime.

The Twin Falls Police Department initially opened investigation into the incident as a vandalism case, but has since upgraded it to a case of "Malicious Harassment", which is Idaho's code for hate crime.

Lt. Terry Thueson said the decision to upgrade the investigation to a hate crime was made Wednesday afternoon after reviewing Idaho code 18-7902.

The code states, "It shall be unlawful for any person, maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, to...(b) Damage, destroy, or deface any real or personal property of another person."

The police department is asking the public to contact them through the nonemergency dispatch number 208-735-4357 if they have any information pertaining to the case.

A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse in Twin Falls was vandalized Tuesday, tagged with the words "God is dead" in black and red spray paint on the side of the building.

The Twin Falls Police Department is investigating the incident as a vandalism case.

Employees at Harrison Elementary across the street said they use the parking lot at the building, and when they came in to work just after 7 Tuesday morning the words were not there.

A bishop from one of the local LDS congregations told a KMVT reporter church leadership filed a police report and said they are working to have the words removed, but it will probably require an acid or pressure wash.

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