Authorities search for person who threatened United Township High School

“You see this on TV,” said parent Valerie Vargas. “You never think this is going to happen until here it is right in front of you.”

EAST MOLINE, Illinois - Authorities are following several leads after a threatening phone call put United Township High School into lock down for 90 minutes on Friday, August 17.

"If we figure out who made this phone call, then we will make an arrest," said East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds.

So far, the threat remains unsubstantiated.

The school went into lockdown just before 9 a.m. on Friday.  Soon after, frightened parents like Valerie Vargas were trying to monitor the situation across the street.

"You see this on TV," she said.  "You never think this is going to happen until here it is right in front of you."

Her son, Antonio, a senior at UTHS, was able to text her during the lockdown.

"My son says he's with his best friend," she continued.  "They're just holding onto one another because they can't believe it,"

Parents received a robocall from the school during the incident.  Students and staffers had to remain in their classes.

"They were on lockdown in the locker room," said Tammy Miller, whose daughter, Raven, 14, is a freshman.  "The lights are off, can't get on the internet or find out anything."

State, county and local officers tried to determine if the threat was real.

"Everything is fluid, so there's going to be decisions made that are going to be second guessed," said East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds.  "But that's just part of the job."

Finding nothing after 90 minutes, authorities lifted the lockdown.  Students were allowed to leave with a parent or return to classes.

"Our students were safe at all times," said Dr. Jay Morrow, UTHS superintendent.  "Our job as educators is to make sure they're safe at all times."

On Friday, 90 minutes of uncertainty, fear and relief.