WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. – Little Treasures Child Development Center received unsettling text messages on a business phone on September 20, 2023, at approximately 1:10 p.m. These messages did not contain specific threats, and the daycare operates across multiple counties.
The following day, on September 21, 2023, at 7:23 am, Williamson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the daycare located on Old Route 13 in Carterville. They had discovered threatening text messages sent to the business phones at two of the center’s locations.
During the investigation, another message was received at both locations, stating, “Today watch urselfs.” As a precaution, law enforcement remained on the scene to trace the source of the messages.
At 9:43 am, two more text messages, including a bomb threat, were received. In response, both facilities were evacuated, with personnel and children relocated to secure areas.
Fire and EMS teams were nearby, and explosive detection K9 units were deployed. The searches yielded no signs of explosives at either location, and both facilities were cleared for staff to re-enter. Nevertheless, six additional text messages were received.
During the investigation, detectives identified an employee of the Little Treasures location in Marion as a potential suspect. Jerica L. Ogden admitted to sending the threatening messages and was arrested for making a terrorist threat, a Class X felony under 720 ILCS 5/29D-20.
Ogden was taken into custody and held in the Williamson County Jail.
If you have any information related to this incident or any other investigations, please do not hesitate to contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 618.997.6541 or the Williamson County Crime Stoppers at 800.414.TIPS (8477). Your information is crucial, and all callers may remain anonymous.