Casper Police Release Information On Abortion Clinic Fire Suspect As Video Footage Emerges

The Casper Police Department has released video footage of a white female who they have identified as the suspect in starting a fire in late May that caused significant damage to an abortion clinic in Casper.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

June 07, 20223 min read

Abortion suspect screenshot 6 7 22 scaled
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A white female has been identified as a suspect who started a fire in late May that caused significant damage to an abortion clinic in Casper, according to the city’s police department.

Casper police officials on Tuesday released information about the arson suspect, asking the public to help identify her. She is believed to be of medium build and stands between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches.

The fire at Wellspring Health Access on May 25 caused “significant” damage, according to previous Cowboy State Daily reporting.

The suspect was wearing a surgical mask for the majority of the time she was captured on surveillance footage, except for one moment when she pulled the mask down.

Police believe the suspect acted alone in the arson. She entered the building around 2:30 a.m. on May 25 and was inside for around 15 minutes, according to Casper police.

Police and fire services arrived to the clinic around 4 a.m. A witness reported the suspect was reported running away from the site – carrying a gas can and a black bag.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest of the suspect. Those with information are encouraged to call the ATF at 307-633-9400.

The FBI is also investigating the arson, as is the bureau’s policy to investigate whenever there is a violent crime that has happened at an abortion provider. The clinic will provide other services in addition to abortion.

Wellspring owner Julie Burkhart did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Tuesday.

Burkhart previously said the fire would not prevent the clinic from opening.

“This is something I’ve been afraid of happening,” she said after the fire. “I’ve worked in this field for a long time and I’ve seen vandalism, flooding, defacing property and buildings, but never arson.”

The clinic has drawn much controversy since its opening was announced last month.

The new clinic between downtown Casper and the Wyoming Medical Center will be operated by Wellspring, which is incorporated in Washington, D.C., and headed up by founder Burkhart, who is based in Colorado.

The clinic is funded by private donors and has been created and supported by a community advisory board of 15 people, Burkhart previously said. These include faith leaders, tribal communities and health care advocates.

Wyoming has only one abortion provider and 96% of Wyoming women live in a county without an abortion clinic.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter