Suspect in Perry County school threats in custody

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KBSI) – A suspect connected with the threats last week to Perry County School District 32 is in custody.

Perryvile Police Chief Direk L. Hunt announced at a press conference Sunday afternoon in Perryville that a juvenile admitted to making both phone calls this week.

The juvenile has been turned over  to juvenile authorities. It will be up to the juvenile prosecutor to determine what charges will be filed.

“Without inter-agency cooperation, we would not be where we are. I would like to add through out investigation, we were able to obtain information for other jurisdictions about similar incidents alleged to have been committed by this individual. We will be contacting those jurisdictions(s) to provide them with any assistance that we can,” wrote Perryville Chief of Police Direk Hunt in a release to media.

Police are working with the school district to coordinate another sweep of the entire school campus prior to students returning to classes on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Police say they are confident the suspect did not have access to firearms or explosive devices.

Officers will continue to patrol the school zones throughout the day and do periodic walkthroughs of the buildings.

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fara Jones thanked the team that worked around the clock this week to bring a resolution.

“This week has been difficult for our students, staff, parents and entire community. The very first resonsibility of a community is to provide safety for its children. Many of us have not felt completely safe since this situation began on Wednesday,” said Dr. Jones.

Jones says the district’s emergency operation plan was successfully implemented Wednesday and followed throughout the week. Two of the five schools were safely evacuated and every student accounted for.

Law enforcement swept the middle and high schools on Friday and found nothing of concern. Another walk-through will be conducted before students return to on Tuesday.

Dr. Jones implemented the “Heightened Alert” procedures for the coming week. That includes extra supervision for students and more frequent visits by law enforcement personnel.

A multi-agency review is scheduled to identify where protocols can be improved.

Related stories:

Person of interest identified after threats to Perry County School District 32

Perryville high, middle school students, staff return to class after threat prompts evacuation

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