Rest area bathrooms aren’t exactly known for their cleanliness. But how bad does it have to get before you close the bathroom and call in investigators to figure out what’s happening?
Just after Christmas, a rest area on I-80 in Nebraska started having issues. A contractor who cleans the restrooms reported that on December 26th, he found the women’s restroom in a sorry state. The walls, floors, sinks, and toilet paper rolls were covered with urine and the sensors on the toilets were covered so that they wouldn’t flush.
It happened again two more times before the rest area decided to close the bathroom between 4:30pm and 6:30am while the attendant wasn’t on duty. But the next day, the rest area just across the highway was vandalized in the same way.
Finally, investigators were called in. DOT officials installed video cameras to record anyone entering or leaving the restrooms.
On January 19th, the video showed a man entering the woman’s restroom. He stayed inside from 10:46pm through 11:32pm. The next day, the same man entered the restroom with a woman and stayed inside for an hour and 14 minutes. Both times the bathroom was given its usual treatment.
Using the video, authorities were able to identify a man as a likely suspect. Investigators also ran the plates of all the vehicles at the rest area and found that one was registered to a woman who looked like the same person in the video.
When they searched her home this month, they found clothes matching what the suspects wore in the videos. Authorities arrested 37-year-old Timothy Welch and 29-year-old Victoria Gilbert.
Both have been charged with criminal mischief, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Gilbert has pled no contest and Welch is scheduled to enter his plea later this month.