Police uncover threat toward Marlowe Middle School students

Finding is part of investigation into alleged racially motivated threats toward student

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Someone has made a threat toward the student population at Marlowe Middle School, according to a news release from the Huntley Police Department.

Whoever made the threat made it for Friday, police said.

Huntley School District 158 will increase police presence at all district schools Friday “out of an abundance of caution,” Superintendent John Burkey said Thursday in a message posted on the district’s website.

The threat was revealed through an ongoing investigation by Huntley and Lake in the Hills police related to an incident in which a Lake in the Hills middle school student was on the receiving end of racially motivated threats made on Xbox Live, police said.

Huntley police learned Monday of “disparaging racial and threatening comments that were sent to a juvenile via Xbox Live.”

Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming service that allows players to communicate with each other using microphones or messaging.

Huntley police have been working with District 158 and Lake in the Hills police “due to the possible involvement of current or former students within the schools in the area.”

Police began investigating Monday and have since conducted several interviews. They executed a search warrant and still are seeking information, according to the news release.

“At this point in time, there have been multiple interviews conducted with several juveniles and parents. Various items have been seized in conjunction with a second executed search warrant,” Huntley police said in the release. “These items have been helpful in the investigation. The location from which the messages were sent has been tentatively identified, and our investigation has revealed persons of interest ultimately responsible for sending the messages.”

As of Thursday evening, no criminal charges had been filed.

“However, significant progress in regards to this investigation, and the furtherance of an act based on these messages, is being mitigated,” Huntley police said.

The police said limited specifics are being released because it is an ongoing case that involves juveniles.

Police confirmed Wednesday that the alleged victim in the latest case is the same one who was targeted in October, when a Lake in the Hills student was charged with a hate crime and disorderly conduct.

Burkey said in his message that there will be an increase in uniformed officers at Reed Road schools Friday.

“We care deeply about the safety of all our students,” Burkey said. “Many staff members, including me, have our own children attending [D-158] schools, and I feel completely confident sending them to our schools.”

He also included a warning to anyone considering directing a threat at District 158: “Any individual who makes a threat against a school in this district will face the absolute strictest school discipline and criminal consequences allowable by law. The intention of the threat does not matter. We will work with law enforcement to leverage every available tool to find the individual responsible and hold them to account.”

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