Feds question, release men involved in elementary school scare

ST. GEORGE – An agent with the U. S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed DHS located and spoke with both men sought in Monday’s public safety alert.

On Monday, the Saint George Police  issued an alert to the public to be on the lookout for a white minivan after they received multiple reports that two men, described as possibly being of Middle Eastern descent,  inquired around town about the location and addresses of area elementary schools.

Finding the activity suspicious, St George Police Department contacted the Department of  Homeland Security and the FBI about the incident. The police also provided an added police presence at St. George elementary schools on Tuesday. The Washington County School District also initiated additional safety measures at the school as a precaution.

During the search for the minvan, St. George Police Sergeant  Sam Despain said that the police primarily wanted to ask the two men questions, as no apparent laws had been broken.

Special Agent Jon Lines of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security said that the men have been located and questioned in relation to the incident, and that they are no longer in the St. George area.

On Tuesday, SGPD revealed in a press conference that authorities had found the minivan and its driver in Santa Monica, Calif.

Lines said that the men had not broken any laws and have been released. However DHS is investigating the matter, he said.

Lines said that he commends the citizens who informed the police of their concerns about the suspicious behavior, especially because it involved a school. Lines said that because of past incidents of terrorism and school violence, it is important for citizens to report any such suspicions.

“If you see something, say something,” Lines said.

St. George News Assistant Editor Mori Kessler contributed to this story.

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Email: mflynn@stgnews.com
Twitter: @mflynnSTG

Copyright 2013 St. George News, StGeorgeUtah.com Inc., 2013, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • karen August 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    So why were they interested in the schools? What did they say??

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