Deputies: 2 female Avon Park students created hit list, planned to kill 9
AVON PARK, Fla. (FOX 13) - Two 14-year-old girls were arrested Thursday for allegedly making a list of people they wanted to kill.
The Highlands County Sheriff's Office said a teacher at Avon Park Middle School found the list in a folder labeled "private info," "do not open," and "Project 11/9."
The teacher told investigators the girls were "hysterical" because they apparently lost the folder. The teacher said there were eight pieces of paper in the folder which referred to "guns" and named 9 people, either by full name or initials, who they wanted to kill, according to the sheriff's office.
The girls, who are minors, were arrested Wednesday at Avon Park Middle School after the teacher took the folder to the School Resource Officer.
An incident report from the Highlands County Sheriff's Office says the folder contained "plans" for getting firearms to kill victims and dispose of their bodies, "specifically burning and burying their bodies."
"The plans were written in great detail as to how they would lure the victims, kill the victims, and dispose of the victims' bodies," the report states.
Also in the folder were hand-written notes identifying clothing the girls would wear, including gloves, according to the report.
The teacher who found the folder told investigators one of the girls said, "I'm just going to tell them it's a prank if they call me or if they find [the folder]," as the pair searched the classroom, including other students' backpacks.
The sheriff's office did not say where the teacher ultimately found the folder.
The girls were taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Bartow, Florida. They face nine counts of attempting to conspire premeditated homicide and three counts of attempting to conspire to kidnap.
"It's scary not knowing if your kid was on that list or not," parent Vicky Setters told FOX 13 News. "[One of the suspects] was real friendly and everything. They said that it didn't seem like it would be her, either one of them, they were both real friends and popular in school."
The Highlands County Sheriff's Office said investigators contacted the families of everyone on the supposed hit list.
The deputy superintendent for Highlands County schools, Andrew Lethbridge issued a statement saying, in part, "We would like to take the opportunity to remind students (and everyone) that we are all held accountable for the information that we communicate. The [School Board of Highlands County] takes threats very seriously and we work closely with the HCSO to investigate them. We have stressed the concept that if staff or students hear or see something that concerns them, to please share that information with an adult that can do something about it. In this situation, we witnessed this concept in action. This enables us to be proactive and respond to situations prior to an incident taking place. We want to thank our students, staff, and our local law enforcement that all play key roles in keeping our schools safe."
A previous version of this post said 15 were named as possible victims.