Threats to Edmonds child care centers were from out of state

Local police will work with state and federal agencies to investigate who made the calls.

EDMONDS — Police investigating threats made to Edmonds child care centers Monday say the calls appear to have come from outside the state.

“We do not believe that there is an immediate threat to our community,” Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure said Tuesday.

After a hectic stretch Monday afternoon, police were able to review the sequence of events that led to law enforcement agencies descending on five centers. Similar threats were made to centers south of the Snohomish County line in Shoreline. It was not immediately clear if those threats were related.

Calls were made to at least two separate Edmonds child care centers. Police are trying to sort out if there were others or if workers at those locations calling other centers prompted additional 911 calls.

“We are still trying to figure out who called when and where,” McClure said. “There’s a lot to sort out.”

Within minutes of the threats, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace police as well as Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies helped Edmonds officers check on the child care centers.

Detectives are working with local, state and federal authorities.

“Our indication is it is not only outside the state but well outside the state,” McClure said.

Early on, the 911 calls were investigated as a potential case of SWAT-ing, a term used to describe when someone calls police about a fictitious situation, often purported to involve violence, that requires officers to respond to an address.

“This was a couple of steps above SWAT-ing,” McClure said. “This was threatening violence to a vulnerable group at multiple locations.”

Sgt. Ryan Abbott of the King County Sheriff’s Office said it was not known if Monday’s threats made in Shoreline were related to the Edmonds calls. One was made to a Montessori school that was closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“We don’t know if it was a copycat thing,” he said.

Such calls, even if they are likely a hoax, can require extensive work.

That was the case in Olympia last year when a series of bomb threats were made to state offices.

A psychiatrist whose license was suspended three years ago for threatening to shoot up a Bothell health insurance agency is suspected of calling in false bomb threats to the state agencies.

Said Farzad is accused in 18 cases of telephone harassment threats to offices in Olympia, Tumwater and some Idaho offices. Farzad was prosecuted for telephone harassment in 2015 after he allegedly made a series of disturbing phone calls to Molina Healthcare of Washington’s Bothell office when the company rejected some of his patients’ claims. His case remains under appeal after an issue of double jeopardy was raised.

The 2018 calls reportedly came from other countries. Police have found no evidence of bombs, but the state offices were treating the threats seriously by increasing police presence and bomb-sniffing dogs.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446;

More in Local News

Swedish Edmonds nurses and caregivers begin 3-day walkout

Fill-in workers crossed picket lines Tuesday and are costing Swedish $11 million.

Feds: Smuggled Marysville guns were part of Nazi terror plot

A federal judge sentenced Hany Veletanlic to 7 years in prison Monday for mailing guns to Sweden.

Everett might declare a climate emergency, adopt action plan

City council members are scheduled Wednesday to consider a resolution “to get the public’s attention.”

Child not hurt after short ride with carjacker near Sultan

Suspect reportedly told the 9-year-old girl to “get out” of moving vehicle. A bus driver found her.

Person injured in apartment fire in Everett

The fire was contained to one unit, but a female was injured and taken to a hospital.

Property taxes rise for most of Snohomish County in 2020

The average homeowner will pay an extra $456.08 in property taxes, with highest jump in Marysville.

Deputy who fatally shot Edmonds man sued for dog bite

An investigation concluded Art Wallin broke policy when he unleashed a dog on a man in 2017.

Deputy marshals shoot Snohomish County fugitive in Las Vegas

The man was wanted on firearms and drug charges. His name and condition haven’t been released.

Charges: Stanwood teacher held ex-wife hostage at gunpoint

Paul Erickson was hired months ago as a middle school science teacher. He’s jailed on felony charges.

Most Read