Topeka hospice center threat possibly directed at Fred Phelps

A Topeka, Kan., hospice facility was the subject of an anthrax threat on March 19 that was possibly directed at Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps.

Topeka Police Department Captain Scott Conklin said an email referencing a bomb and anthrax was sent to Midland Hospice, according to WIBW.

The police department said the email was sent to a hospice employee between 5:47 p.m. on March 19 and 10 a.m. March 20, WIBW reports.

K-9 units from the Kansas Highway Patrol and Shawnee County Sheriff's Office, along with officers from the Topeka Police Department, responded to the call. No threats were found during or after a search of the building, according to WIBW.

Hospice center staff told the police department they believed the threat was aimed at a specific person receiving care in the center. Phelps' family reported he died at Midland Hospice Wednesday evening, WIBW reports.

Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church in 1955. The church became well known when its members began picketing funerals, public events and businesses with signs protesting against homosexuals, Jews, Catholics and others in 1991.

The church is not affiliated with any Baptist denomination, and has been denounced by the Baptist World Alliance and the Southern Baptist Convention, which are the two largest Baptist denominations.