Police: Calls threatening Washington daycares likely from out of state

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EDMONDS, Wash. -- Police say disturbing, violent phone calls threatening Snohomish County daycares likely originated outside of Washington state.

"Threats against any member of the community are unacceptable, but threats made against innocent children are indefensible," Edmonds Police Sgt. Josh McClure said in a news release.

Detectives said they do not believe there is an immediate threat to the community, but they are continuing to investigate the threatening calls.

"We do not believe that there is an immediate threat to our community," McClure said. "The Edmonds Police Department will continue to work this investigation and use the resources of our local, State, and Federal law enforcement partners, as appropriate.  Our patrol officers will continue to provide a visible presence in your neighborhoods and exceptional response to calls for service."

Investigators said it would be up to the child care centers to decide whether they opened for business on Tuesday.

At least three of the locations decided to close their doors for the day out of an abundance of caution. Police said there would be extra patrols around the centers.

Edmonds Police say at least five facilities received the calls on Monday.

The calls targeted child care centers in the 24300 block of 76th Avenue, the 8000 block of 240th Street SW, the 7800 block of 196th Street SW, the 21300 block of 80th Avenue W. and the 600 block of Edmonds Way. Police say they investigated all five facilities and that no injuries were reported.

"These phone calls were coming through some sort of message app, so it's been difficult to pin down the suspect," McClure said. "However, we did have an extensive phone conversation with him."

McClure said some calls were also made to 911, and a detective actually spoke to the suspect for about half an hour.

"There were threats to shoot at the location, there were threats to harm people. The threats were graphic," McClure said. "They continued to get more violent and increasingly hostile... Prank phone calls are one thing, but this appears to be a very coordinated effort to cause fear."

McClure said all five daycare facilities went into lockdown until police could determine there was no actual suspect or threat at the scene.

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