Every threat made to a public school, even the prank ones, are treated as if it is real by law enforcement officials, which is why the investigation continues into a "prank bomb threat" at Northview High School on Nov. 26.
Shortly after 11 a.m. on Nov. 26, a caller to the school switchboard said, "There's a bomb in the school," before quickly hanging up. Officials did not release any identifying details about the caller at that time.
On Tuesday, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton and the lead investigator for the department in the case, Det. Sgt. Jeff Maynard, informed The Brazil Times that the caller apparently sounded like a female, but the department is not limiting the investigation only to female suspects.
"We are investigating all leads in this case," Maynard said, adding these types of pranks usually become the topic of discussion sooner or later. "Someone knows something about this. We really need more information from the public to help solve this case."
Limiting the investigation to only females could hamper the case, according to Heaton.
"We don't want to say it was a female and then later find out it was a male," Heaton said. "We don't want to do anything that could hamper this case in any way."
A portion of the school's subpoenaed phone records has been reviewed, and officials are expecting more information to be supplied by Verizon very soon. These records will help officials to determine a possible location of origin of the call, which could lead to an arrest of a suspect(s).
If someone makes a false report stating that a person has or intends to place an explosive, destructive device or other destructive substance in a building or transportation facility, they commit a class D felony. If convicted, that person could face a potential fine of $10,000 and real-time imprisonment of up to 3 years.
"This type of incident is not a joke. It just puts kids at risk," Heaton said. "We take this seriously."
Officials are urging the public to report any information about this case to the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.