The woman believed to be responsible for vandalizing the a series of significant sites in D.C. made her first court appearance today, and now we know her name. Jia M. Tian, 58, was found in the National Cathedral's Children's Chapel on Monday afternoon, holding a soda can filled with the same color of green paint used to deface the Cathedral.
The woman, who has no permanent address, has a Chinese passport and was traveling on a visa that expired three days ago, according to the Associated Press. As we noted earlier today, she appears to speak little English. She'll be held without bail on charges of defacing property. The AP explains, citing court documents, how she was found:
When a police officer approached her, she walked away and placed the soda can with green paint inside one of three bags that were sitting on chairs in the chapel, documents show. She also had green paint on her clothing, shoes and body, according to the documents.
She was wearing a multicolored sock on her right arm, and a similar sock was found in a trash can in a bathroom at the cathedral on top of a can of green paint, according to the documents. The bags placed in the chapel also had cans of green paint in them, the documents show.
Her arrest likely solves the mystery behind a week-long spree of green paint vandalism targeting a series of landmarks in the nation's capital, which prosecutors believe are all linked to Tian.
The vandalism targeted the Lincoln Memorial:
The Joseph Henry statue outside of the Smithsonian Institution:
The National Cathedral:
And on a statue of Martin Luther in Thomas Circle:
NEW: More green paint splatters found on Martin Luther statue at Thomas Circle pic.twitter.com/PfaOwDhIRW— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) July 29, 2013
A witness also reported seeing the woman at a church service near Thomas Circle. At that church, an organ was left defaced with white paint, urine, and feces, according to the AP.
The cleanup from the paint vandalism will carry with it an estimated $15,000 price tag at the National Cathedral alone.