Student Charged in Connection With Bomb Threats
A Pennsylvania College of Technology student has been charged with a number of crimes in connection with a series of bomb threats that led to several campus evacuations in the last month.
Melissa Rose Holmes, a 24-year-old student in the Applied Human Services (B.S. degree) major and a part-time Fitness Center employee, has been charged with terroristic threats, felony attempt to risk a catastrophe, recklessly endangering and harassment by stalking and communication.
Holmes is in the Lycoming County Prison after failing to post $7,500 bail following her arraignment last night before District Justice Allan Page III. Her preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 1.
She was arrested Thursday, Nov.16, at her off-campus residence in Williamsport. Evidence, including computer equipment, was removed from the residence after police obtained a search warrant to enter the home that afternoon.
Penn College Police, Williamsport City Police, Pennsylvania State Police and the Lycoming County District Attorney's Office are continuing to investigate.
The campus was fully evacuated on two consecutive Monday mornings, Oct. 23 and 30, after calls were received indicating a bomb was on campus. Another series of calls was received during the evening hours of Tuesday, Nov.14. Those calls resulted in evacuations of the Bush Campus Center and Campus View Apartments. Searches were conducted in each instance and nothing was found.
On Thursday morning, Nov. 16, the College received a very rapid succession of phone-in threats. Through electronic surveillance, it was immediately determined that all the calls were generated electronically from the same source in the city. Further investigation led police to the residence and resulted in the student's arrest.
President Davie Jane Gilmour said this morning that she is confident the investigation will be conclusive and will bring some level of closure to the series of recent disruptions to campus.
"We are extremely grateful for the excellent cooperation among our College police, city and state police, and the District Attorney's Office. We also appreciate the assistance of officials from Verizon who worked with our telecommunication and computer services personnel to provide a telephone monitoring system that led us to the source of the calls."
The President also expressed her thanks to the college community for cooperation during the evacuations and subsequent investigation, and voiced her concern for the student who has been charged.
"While we look forward to concluding this investigation and ending these disruptions to classes and college business, we are mindful that a young woman is faced with very serious criminal charges and her life is going to be heavily impacted."