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Police arrest two women accused of placing packages resembling body bags at state Capitol


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    HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — Two women are facing charges after being accused of leaving suspicious packages that resembled body bags on the grounds of the state Capitol back in April.

Connecticut State Police have arrested Erin Melocowsky, 19, and Olivia Rae Rinkes, 30, and charged them both with disorderly conduct.

According to the arrest warrant, officers were called to the Capitol on April 1 for the report of several suspicious packages having been left on the property, including behind a car assigned to Gov. Ned Lamont.

Police said the packages appeared to be black garbage bags wrapped in duct tape, made to resemble body bags.

A maintenance worker told police he saw two females arrive at the state Capitol that day, exit a light-colored Ford Focus and place black bags wrapped in duct tape on the grounds.

The worker also told police he saw the women leave signs behind that said “EVICTION.”

At the same time, a second vehicle was also seen, along with a third female. She was seen taking photos of the bags left.

When investigators opened the bags, they found articles of clothing and cut up pieces of cardboard. They also found a name and address on one of the cardboard pieces, which led police to identify a person connected to an activist group responsible for other similar incidents. The person was also connected to a Facebook group named “Western CT Democratic Socialists.”

Police were ultimately able to identify two suspects as Melocowsky and Rinkes.

According to the warrant, Rinkes admitted to dropping the bags at the state Capitol and Hartford City Hall, saying she wanted to have her voice heard and that she had been participating in a movement with a focus on eviction throughout the state.

The warrant also states Melocowsky’s Instagram account featured photos of the bags dropped at the Capitol on April 1.

They were both released on $5,000 bonds and are expected to appear in court later this month.

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