Fort Madison Man Sentenced After FBI Investigate Daycare Threat

On Friday morning in North Lee County Court, Roy James Vowels, 34, of Fort Madison was sentenced to two years in prison on conviction of Harassment in the 1st degree. This comes after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Fort Madison Police Department Detective Bureau.

On May 12th, 2023, the detectives with the Fort Madison Police Department Detective Bureau received information from the FBI indicating that Vowels had made an online threat to carry out a mass killing at an unspecified daycare facility. The threat was received by an individual located outside of the United States who, with the assistance of a US resident, reported the threat to the FBI.

Vowels was taken into custody by detectives hours later and charged with making a threat of terrorism.  Vowels later plead guilty to an amended charge of Harassment in the 1st degree on October 13th, 2023.

The Fort Madison Police Department was assisted in this investigation by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Lee County Attorney’s Office.

The Fort Madison Police Department reminds individuals, if they see something, say something. Acts of violence can be prevented if suspicious activity or behavior are reported.

This conviction underscores the importance of reporting suspicious behavior in preventing violence. Only by investigation can we determine just how credible these threats are, and if an arrest is appropriate.