Fake bomb threat prompts evacuation of Boone County Courthouse

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | 5:24 p.m. CST; updated 8:27 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Boone County Courthouse was evacuated at about noon Wednesday after an unidentified caller said there was a bomb in the building.

Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said court marshals immediately followed safety procedures. The building was evacuated, and a bomb-sniffing dog from MU was deployed to search the courthouse. 

"At around quarter to two, when we were satisfied that it was a false threat, we let everyone back in the courthouse," O'Sullivan said. "Work did come to a stand-still but most people were away as it was around lunch hour." 

The call could not be traced and O'Sullivan said the department does not have any suspects. He said this was not the first threat to the courthouse.

"We get these threats periodically," he said. A suspicious white envelope was found at the entrance of the courthouse in April, and a similar bomb threat, made via telephone, was received in 2006.

O'Sullivan said courthouses are common targets for such threats, adding: "People do not come out happy very often."

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