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Peoria County Sheriff’s Office: News

Coordinated Response to Airport Incident

Mar 31, 2016

At approximately 6:30 a.m. this morning, March 30, a TSA agent at the Peoria International Airport discovered suspicious items in a checked bag during routine screening. The agent properly followed procedures and, with the assistance of the Peoria County Sheriff's Office, appropriate areas of the airport terminal were immediately evacuated. Peoria Police's Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Unit was called to the scene to determine whether the items inside the case were explosive. Upon further inspection, it was determined three sticks that appeared to look like sticks of dynamite on X-ray were fetch toys for dogs with the wording "dynamite" printed on them. The baggage also contained a mason jar with liquid and an aerosol can. 

The woman who checked the bag was identified through surveillance video and detained at the airport for questioning by Sheriff's investigators and the FBI. Michelle Davidson, 38 years old and a resident of Maryland, was en route to Washington D.C. According to Ms. Davidson, the items in her checked baggage are used for training purposes at abortion clinics nationwide, to train employees on how to identify suspicious items such as dynamite. She conducted a training at a clinic in Peoria yesterday. The woman's employer, the National Abortion Federation, confirmed her explanation. Ms. Davidson was released after questioning and no charges will be filed.

Both Sheriff McCoy and Airport Director Gene Olson are very pleased with the response of TSA, airport employees, and Sheriff's personnel who were on scene at the time of the incident. All agencies involved, including Peoria Police and the FBI, responded according to plan and training to ensure airport employees and travelers were safe. 

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Become a fan at facebook.com/peoriacountysheriffsoffice. The PCSO is also on Twitter. Follow us at twitter.com/pcso1. Get important news about road closures, wanted criminals, Amber Alerts, and emergency information.

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