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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Authorities may be closing in on source of threatening letters

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Authorities are quietly analyzing evidence and conducting interviews five months after a series of unsigned letters threatened the safety of athletes, put a community on edge and forced the cancellation of a high school track and field event last spring.

The threatening harassing tone of the letters has spilled over into the new school year.

Female athletes at Spirit Lake High School jokingly said they didn't want a prominent place in team photographs this fall. Local school and police officials continue to calculate the cost of an extensive investigation and added security,

Meanwhile, some residents think that a new barrage of threatening letters has made its way to school grounds this fall. That's not the case, according to Spirit Lake police chief Jon Martyr and Spirit Lake Superintendent Tim Grieves.

"We were anticipating seeing some letters prior to school starting and prior to girls athletics kicking off, but they've never taken any interest in volleyball," Martyr said of the author or authors.

Martyr thinks talk of new letters might be surfacing because the investigation remains a high priority of his department.

"I wonder if that's not maybe triggering some of these people to talk," he said.

Martyr hinted that investigators could be close to an arrest, but he wants to keep concerned parents informed while not jeopardizing the status of the ongoing investigation. Local law enforcement officials are handling most aspects of the case, but that might change soon.

"We have brought federal authorities into the investigation," Martyr said. "If somebody wants to identify themselves and come forward, this is the time to do it because it might be their last chance."

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