With no new updates, the investigation into the pipe bomb threats that cancelled classes at city and county schools Jan. 13 has been closed for now.
Washington Police Department Lt. Jon Long said the source and location of the calls could not be determined.
“Criminals can use poorly maintained systems and rent out those compromised networks kind of like using a stolen car as a getaway vehicle. They’re just almost impossible to trace,” said Long.
Technology has made it harder to investigate such cases but Long said the agency has no long-term concern for the safety of the students arising from the threats.
“The students are safe, the teachers are safe, faculty’s safe and the facilities are safe,” said Long. “Even with that confidence in mind, anybody that would hear something or see something that could be a potential threat should alert their teacher or school administrator or law enforcement so it can be investigated.”
Classes were closed at Washington C.H. City Schools, Miami Trace Local Schools and Fayette Christian School after an anonymous person called the WPD twice and said they were going to blow up the school with pipe bombs. The threats were called into dispatch at 4:26 a.m. and 4:40 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13 and warned that the schools would “blow up” between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Washington Police Department, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, ATF, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Columbus Fire Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Franklin County Bomb Squad and Canine Units responded to the calls. The agencies searched and cleared all schools, buses and bus garages in the districts with K-9s. No bombs, materials associated with explosives or suspicious items were found.
A video of the anonymous threats called into police dispatch can be seen on the Record-Herald’s Youtube channel.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton