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Juvenile charged with sending text message

ELC staff, police work together on case

October 11, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Estherville Police Department in cooperation with the Estherville Lincoln Central School District filed a charge on Thursday in regards to the text message threat that a student received the night of Oct. 3.

The text message was done in "Code" and was reported by the student late yesterday morning, Oct. 4, to the school resource officer. Extra officers were provided for the Wednesday early dismissal.

Officers and school administrators also put extra security measures in place for students arrival on Thursday morning, including, extra officers at all buildings, metal detectors, and bag searches at the high school.

Investigating officers and school administrators continued to work on the case in an attempt to identify the suspect. Several text application companies and Internet providers also worked in conjunction with the police department. The suspect was able to use an application on his computer that made the message appear that it came from a false phone number. The suspect sent the threatening message in "Code" and the message indicated there would be violence at school sometime in the next two weeks.

Officers have charged a 15-year-old male juvenile with the crime of threats of terrorism, a Class D felony. It is not believed that the messages received by the ELC student are in any way connected to similar events around the state and country. It was determined that the "Coded" text message was sent between friends as a joke and that there was no viable threat to staff or students.

The suspect was charged in juvenile court and was being held on those charges at a juvenile facility.



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