Investigators turn to community for help with threat letter

By Mark Rivera

Jeff Christensen, interim executive director of public safety at the University, sent a mass e-mail on Thursday to all faculty, academic professionals and students asking the University community for help.

The e-mail was also sent to some parents, and has been posted to the Parent Programs Office website.

University police are currently investigating a threatening note found in the men’s bathroom of the Undergraduate Library on Oct. 5.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said police are at a point in their investigation where they are asking for community help.

The mass e-mail was designed to make the University community the eyes and ears of the investigation, Kaler said.

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However, according to police, the note’s credibility is still in question.

“There have been no other aggravating factors that would increase the credibility of the note,” Christensen said.

“We hope it’s some sort of prank, but we have to take it seriously.”

According to police, the author of the note stated someone would be shot on Green Street on Halloween night. The author also claimed to have damaged a vehicle window in the parking lot of Savoy 16, 232 W. Burwash Ave.

The Bureau, Champaign Police Department, Champaign County Police Department, Illinois State Police, Urbana Police Department and Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office are also involved in the investigation.

John Maki, graduate student, said the note crossed a line.

“I think it’s good (police) decided to spread the information even further,” he said. “Personally, I hope somebody does come forward. There are college pranks, and then there’s this.”

Christensen said the initial media public advisory about the threat was to inform the community. Now, police are asking for everyone’s help, he said.

“We’re hitting all the University community,” Christensen said.

“Maybe somebody saw something.”

Katie Krahulec, senior in Education, said she was glad the University let people know something was happening.

“I was curious about when the University was going to say something,” Krahulec said. She added that news of the note frightened her.

“It’s a Friday first of all, and Halloween is a huge celebration,” she said.

“It just made me nervous,” Krahulec added.

University police did not say there would be increased security around Green Street on Halloween night in response to the note, although Christensen brought the circumstances of the situation to light.

“Halloween is on a Friday night, on a football weekend,” he said.

Christensen added that police would be actively sharing information as their investigation develops further.

“We are seeking community assistance,” he said.

Community members with information regarding the threat or the damaged vehicle at Savoy 16 can call University police at 217-333-1216. They can also call Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477.