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Authorities ramp up investigation of swastika left on tree

Following revelations that a swastika was placed on a tree near the property of a community organizer, authorities returned to the scene Tuesday for further investigation.

As GIGO News first reported, Julie Ohashi, who created the Livingston Integrity group to promote transparency and honesty, on April 2nd found a large swastika spray painted on a tree just off of her property line. She said it happened a day after her personal information was posted online by a group opposed to the district’s recently-passed millage, which Livingston Integrity publicly supported. She noted that the tree had visible ash and burn marks, as evidenced by a closeup video she took and provided to authorities.

Swastika on tree near Julie Ohashi’s residence. Taken 4/2/23

Ohashi says the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident initially, but she decided to later reach out to the FBI, especially as her husband is one of the few racial minorities in their neighborhood. While the FBI’s Detroit Office would neither confirm nor deny they were looking into the incident, Ohashi says investigators from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office returned to inspect the tree on Tuesday and provided GIGO News a picture of the examination.

OCSO investigators examining tree 5/9/23

Further, Ohashi says she was contacted directly by Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard who assured her that his office was taking the investigation seriously.

“I’m really grateful to Sheriff Bouchard for calling me and giving personal attention to the case,” she said. “I have been extremely anxiety riddled coming forward with this information, but hope that it may help find the person who did this.”

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