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Police: Central middle-schooler to be charged in threats

Police say they have closed the investigation into the threats that closed Central York schools for three days last week.

At a Sunday night news conference, Springettsbury Township Police Chief Dan Stump said a middle school student admitted to making the threats, and he said the student did so because she didn’t want to go to school.

The student will be charged with making terroristic threats, he said.

Law enforcement personnel talk outside of North Hills Elementary School Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, after classes in the district resumed following the charges against a juvenile who police say made terroristic threats. Bill Kalina photo

The announcement came at a 9:30 p.m. news conference, 5 1/2 hours after a briefing in which Stump and the district superintendent said classes would resume even as the investigation continued.

Central students are expected to see increased safety measures Monday, Feb. 25, including a boost in police presence and the prohibition of backpacks.

Stump had said earlier Sunday that several warrants were served on social-media companies — although he added the investigation reached beyond online activity.

Investigators were interviewing people during the Sunday afternoon news conference, he said at the time, before coming "to a full understanding" of the source of the threats at around 8 p.m. Sunday night.

He credits the ground effort in ending the ordeal.

"We fought a crime involving technology with old-fashioned police work going person-to-person (and) ultimately solving this."

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Threats: District administrators canceled classes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as police investigated.

Late Sunday night, Stump said the threats made by the student were to cause violence and harm to other students, as well as claim that the attacks would continue through the week.

"One person scared our community, and we've seen our community come together for the safety our kids," he said in an earlier conference.

Teachers and students returned to Central York High School Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, after classes in the district resumed following the charges against a juvenile who police say made terroristic threats. Bill Kalina photo

School: On Friday, the chief apologized to the parents for the investigation taking so long.

"I wish we could have your kids back in school," he said.

A task force made up of local and federal agencies investigated the threats since Tuesday, Feb. 20. Officials asked for the public's help in identifying was responsible.

No threats were made after Tuesday, according to Stump.

District Superintendent Michael Snell said the days off last week will be added on to the end of the school year. 

Fears: After the Sunday afternoon news conference — before news of the investigation's close later in the night — some parents said they were worried about sending their children back to the school.

When asked if she would allow her child to attend classes Monday, Beth Wolfe said, "I don't know — my heart says no."

Snell said absences on Monday, Feb. 26 would be excused.