FBI investigating Washington state residents threatened after reporting ‘Stay Home’ order violations

FBI investigating death threats to Washington state residents reporting ‘Stay Home’ order violation

The website that Governor Inslee encouraged people used to file specific complaints about businesses violating the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive clearly stated, “All the information collected at this site is considered public.”

But some people who are receiving death threats told KIRO-TV they never saw that disclaimer, so they felt secure leaving their names and contact information.

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Now the victims of email and phone harassment told KIRO-TV the FBI is investigating death threats made against them.

A King County woman who reported the threats to police told KIRO-TV she was unaware her personal contact information would become public -- that is, until someone sent her a threatening email, which was also sent to hundreds of others who used the website to file complaints.

"Wednesday night, I got an email addressed to me and 450 other people that said: “'Your information has been leaked,”' she said.

That email called people who made reports, “Lowlife scumbag whistleblower snitches.”

“Fifteen minutes later I got a voicemail saying they wanted to kill me, hope I die, hope I choke on the virus, with really graphic language,” she said.

“So glad it’s public disclosure! Have a nice night!” the voicemail said.

“I’m just getting horrible things telling me that I need to get out of the state in the next two days or they will come and kill me and my entire family,” the woman added.

The woman sent the voicemails to KIRO-TV. Another was the sound of a man’s angry voice: “Let me tell you I don’t take that expletive lightly. So you got 48 hours to get the (expletive) out of Washington, or I’m coming for you!”

Earlier versions of the state’s website show that the disclaimer explaining the public nature of their information was not visible on the top of the page.

I am definitely upset with the state, and I don’t think they protected me at all," said the woman, who said she filed a tip regarding a business that was marketing “coronavirus cures.”

She said she believed many people who filed complaints were also being targeted with the same campaign of threats and fear.

She has a return message for the people making the threats: “You know I’m a daughter and a wife and a future mother and I don’t think I deserve these death threats.”

FILE PHOTO: The FBI is investigating death threats made to Washington state residents who reported violations of the state's "Stay Home" orders.
FILE PHOTO: The FBI is investigating death threats made to Washington state residents who reported violations of the state's "Stay Home" orders. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)