ST. GEORGE – Police shut down the area around the St. George Temple Saturday after being notified of a suspicious package on the premise.
Around 5:30 p.m., Saturday, officers arrived at the St. George Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at 250 East 400 South, after receiving a report of a strange package. The package had “ARMY” written on it and was located in the gazebo area of the property.
The bomb squad responded and investigated the package and closed down surrounding streets as a precaution.
An individual approached police during the investigation and informed officers that he had left the package at the gazebo. It was a part of a treasure hunt involving his girlfriend and was filled with candy and a note asking her to a dance.
Police took no further action after the package’s content was verified.
Jared Saxton, Cedar City, said his daughter was visiting the temple shortly before the incident took place and was inside when officers locked down the temple grounds. He related her experience in an email to St. George News:
“Some men in badges came in and told them that they could not leave the building until something outside was resolved. The men were guarding all the doors, and would not let anyone out until around 8 p.m.”
In October 2012, the St. George Bomb Squad responded to a suspicious package in a business parking lot in Washington that turned out to be a suitcase full of personal items.
A month prior, on Sept. 5, the bomb squad responded to a suspicious package call in the package lot of Cedar High School in Cedar City. In that incident the package was detonated and discovered to be filled with nonthreatening materials and may have likely been a musical instrument called a rain stick.
Sgt. Sam Despain, St. George Police, said it is standard procedure for the bomb squad to respond to reports of suspicious packages when the contents are unknown. The circumstances surrounding when and where a package is found are also determining factors, he said.
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