FBI leads investigation of THS chemical threat

Knifer

THOMASVILLE — The FBI is analyzing a chemically-laced threat mailed to Thomasville High School during the Christmas holidays.

The school was closed for two weeks for the holidays and reopened Monday. In the mail was an envelope that contained two other envelopes.

A chemical powder residue and threats of shooting THS staff were in the envelopes, according to authorities. 

"We're looking at all avenues. We do not know that it was sparked by someone local," said Lt. Toby Knifer, Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander.

Efforts are being made to narrow the investigation to a suspect pool.

A school employee opened the envelope containing the two other envelopes Monday morning. The chemical was in one of the envelopes. Law enforcement is working with the postal service to learn how the envelope traveled through the mail.

"We're backtracking to determine the origin," Knifer said. 

In addition to Thomasville police, a number of other agencies responded Monday to the school — Thomasville Fire/Rescue, Tallahassee Police Department, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Thomas County Emergency Management Agency, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

With the FBI as the lead investigating agency, TPD and the GBI are assisting in the probe.

The case will be prosecuted at the federal level.

Knifer said the employee who opened the envelope and others who were nearby are being monitored. No medical issues have surfaced, he said. 

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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