published Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Man finds swastika, KKK markings on door of home near Murfreesboro, Tenn.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — A central Tennessee man awoke to find a swastika and the letters KKK drawn on his front door, as well as a pornographic picture with same markings placed on a stool on his porch.

Rutherford County Sheriff's Detective Randy Groce is investigating who vandalized 32-year-old Michael Varnell's home outside of Murfreesboro on Wednesday.

Varnell told The Daily News Journal seeing the marks surprised and upset him and his family, who have lived in the area for about 12 years.

Varnell said one of two things could have motivated the markings — his son's struggle with autism or that his brother-in-law is black and their kids play together frequently at his house. Varnell and someone may have objected to that.

Varnell also says it could have been just a random act.

It was just really upsetting, especially as my son looks at the door and looks at us being upset," Varnell said.

Groce declined to speculate on a motive.

Varnell and his wife have lived in Rutherford County for the past 12 years, he said, and they were surprised that something like this would happen in this community.

"Before we moved here from a small town outside of Chattanooga," Michael Varnell said. "It was just like Woodbury; we didn't think Murfreesboro was all that big and bad."

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