On four separate occasions last week, threatening calls were made to the University of Missouri-Rolla that resulted in the evacuation of the Campus Support Facility. Each time, the building remained closed for approximately 30 minutes while UMR Police conducted a search.
Nothing suspicious was found during any of the searches and UMR Police determined the bomb threats were hoaxes.
The first bomb threat occurred on Labor Day, when the campus was closed for the holiday. At 11 a.m., an unidentified caller to the UMR Police Department reported a bomb in “the building” set to go off in 15 minutes.
An unidentified caller made the same threat on Sept. 5, Sept. 6 and Sept. 7. Again, the call was received by the UMR Police Department and the caller reported a bomb in “the building” set to go off in 15 minutes.
After each threat, the UMR office of public relations emailed UMR faculty and staff to inform them of the situation. UMR students received email notification about the threats on Sept. 6 and Sept. 7. Students were not notified of the first hoax, when no classes were held because of the holiday. A technical problem with the email list also prevented students from receiving the notice about the second hoax on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The recent incidents are under investigation. UMR Police have determined that the calls are not being made locally and have contacted federal authorities to share information on all of the recent bomb threats.
“UMR police investigators have worked on this case since the first call and have identified a phone that’s making the calls,” says William Bleckman, director of the UMR Police Department. “We know these calls are being made from a substantial distance away. We’ve asked the FBI to step in and assist us on the investigation at the originating site.”
Faculty, staff and students are asked exercise caution on campus and to report any suspicious behavior to the UMR Police at 573-341-4300.