Fake news? Facebook post claims FBI investigating school bomb threat


By Ashley Bunton - abunton@aimmediamidwest.com



As if a bomb threat made Monday against Miami Trace Local Schools wasn’t enough to cause worry, a Facebook post has sent people into a panic over whether or not the FBI is involved with the investigation.

Facebook user Sandy Munyan sent the Record-Herald a message Thursday questioning a Facebook post circulating online. Munyan wrote, “Is this true FBI says it’s not a child?”

The Facebook post references the school bomb threat and states, “FBI sources say, ‘This isn’t a kid trying to get out of an exam tomorrow. This is a sadistic, twisted person who needs serious help.’”

The post was created Sept. 18. on a Facebook page under the name Derek Myers.

“He said he’s a journalist so I didn’t know if he really had contact with FBI, seeing it made everybody panic,” wrote Munyan.

The post does not state the FBI source or how the quote was provided. FBI communications in southern and central Ohio are handled by the FBI’s Cincinnati office. The FBI directed the Record-Herald to public affairs specialist Todd Lindgren, who did not return a call on the matter as of press time.

At the time of this writing the post has been shared 175 times on social media.

In criminal investigations the local agency becomes the lead agency. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency handling the investigation and can request the FBI to get involved if the case warrants it.

According to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth and Chief Deputy Andy Bivens, the sheriff’s office has not asked the FBI to become involved with the case at this point.

“The sheriff’s office has had no contact nor is receiving any assistance at this time from the FBI,” said Bivens in an interview Thursday.

Bivens said the sheriff’s office has not determined the age of the suspect.

“We’re not saying that it is a child at this point and we’re not saying it isn’t a child. We’re still in the process of investigating this matter. When we’re investigating, especially something like this, there’s a lot of computer forensics that go into it too. It takes a little a bit of time,” said Bivens.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office is currently working with the Ohio Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit at the Bureau of Criminal Identification to determine the source and identity of the suspect. So far, no suspects have been named and no one has taken responsibility for the threat.

No explosive devices or suspicious items were found Tuesday morning on the Miami Trace campus.

On Monday evening, the decision was made to close the campus as a precautionary measure after a post on Instagram was discovered. An account with the name of “bombingsociety1234” posted the following: “My pan (sic) is too (sic) bomb miami trace schools and burn the place to shreds text meif you want too (sic) help stabbing people with knifes (sic) and shooting with guns….imgoingtobombmiamitrace.com/”

Miami Trace Superintendent David Lewis and Stanforth said Tuesday morning that the buildings are safe and secure.

By Ashley Bunton

abunton@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton