Crime

Okawville police search home, but details scant on Snapchat school threat

Okawville police stationed outside school

Okawville police were stationed outside the Okawville Junior/Senior High School on Friday morning as the investigation continued into a Snapshot threat reportedly made against the school on Wednesday evening.
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Okawville police were stationed outside the Okawville Junior/Senior High School on Friday morning as the investigation continued into a Snapshot threat reportedly made against the school on Wednesday evening.

Okawville police said they searched a residence on March 1 in connection with a Snapchat threat made against an Okawville school on Feb. 28.

While police have continued to investigate a threat made against the Okawville Junior/Senior High School, few details about the matter have been released.

A press release from Okawville Police Chief Stephen Millikin said a search warrant was executed at a home on March 1 but did not specify the home's location.

"Okawville police department is taking this matter seriously. We appreciate the cooperation and understanding of the community during this time," Millikin said. "This is still an active and ongoing investigation involving both local and federal authorities."

The Okawville Police Department asked the FBI in Fairview Heights to assist with the investigation, according to Brad Ware, spokesperson for the FBI in Springfield.

"We're taking all these investigations and all these calls we're getting seriously, we always have," Ware said. "After the Parkland situation there's been a tremendous increase in those calls coming in, which is great.

Ware said the agency would rather have too many calls than not have a call before something happened.

"We are still conducting and will continue with the extra security protocols in and around the school to guarantee the safety of the students and administration," Millikin said.

The BND filed a Freedom of Information Request for the press release Wednesday, and then filed another request for the search warrant mentioned in the press release. While police gave the BND the press release, the search warrant request was denied on grounds that the documents contained personal information of a minor and would obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation.

According to the Okawville Times, the search was conducted at a local student's home and the threat involved a weapon and named a victim or victims, whose name or names were not released. This information was not confirmed in Okawville police's press release.

The morning of the Snapchat threat, Principal Keith Senior sent a robocall to parents saying police were "fully involved" with the threat. The message did not specify what the threat was or whether it was considered credible.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a tip line at 800-225-5324 or by going to www.fbi.gov.

Though there is no single profile for school shooters, people at risk for hurting themselves or others often exhibit warning signs before committing acts of violence. Knowing the signs can help prevent crimes and get people the help they need.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

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