Milford Police held a press conference Monday explaining the closure of Milford School District last week.

New details emerge from police into Milford School District’s closure

Jarek RutzHeadlines, Police & Fire

Milford Police held a press conference Monday explaining the closure of Milford School District last week.

Milford Police held a press conference Monday explaining the closure of Milford School District last week.

Milford Police Department Chief Cecilia Ashe shed some light on an ongoing investigation that was linked to Milford School District closing schools last week.

Last Thursday, several schools in the Milford School District were placed on “low-level” lockdown after a “credible threat was made toward Milford School District schools and offices.”

The entire district was closed Friday, and opened back up Monday. 

In a 7-minutes press conference with Ashe and Bridget Amory, superintendent of Milford, Ashe confirmed the online speculation that the school closures were related to the Milford Police Thursday asking for public assistance in its attempt to locate Thomas Caffrey, a 59-year-old male from Lincoln, who investigators say they want to speak with regarding a terroristic threatening incident that occurred within Milford city limits.

RELATED: Milford SD closed Friday after 2 schools on lockdown Thursday

According to Ashe, at approximately 1:20pm last Thursday, Caffrey came to the Milford School District Office at 906 Lakeview Avenue, Milford to drop off a concerning letter for the school district. 

“Contained in this letter was a district key access key card and building key for a previous employee of the school district,” she said. 

The Milford Police Department was contacted by district administration at that time, and an investigation into the concerning letter began.

Police were advised that Caffrey appeared to be agitated when he dropped off the letter to the district office.

“It is important to know that Caffrey is a former employee of the Milford School District,” Ashe said.

As a safety precaution, Milford High School and Milford Central Academy were placed on a heightened awareness or as many have referred to, she said, a low level lockdown.

There was a subject matching Caffrey’s description allegedly banging on the side door of the academy. 

This resulted in a full lockdown occurring at the high school and the academy. 

Milford police school resource officers already at the school immediately responded to the area and it was determined that the subject was not Caffrey.

Milford Police then worked with school staff to organize a plan to safely dismiss the Milford High School and the Milford Central Academy because the location of Caffrey was unknown. 

Once the plan was developed, it was put into action and all students were safely dismissed. 

Milford police investigators attempted to make contact and locate Caffrey at the time to talk with him about the concern but were unable to via phone or in person at that time.

Investigators continued to attempt contact with Caffrey throughout the night and the early morning hours of Friday, March 8, but we’re still unable to make contact with him or locate him. 

“It was determined by the school district to close the schools on March 8, 2024, as a precaution to keep all Milford students safe due to the police being unable to locate Caffrey at that time,” Ashe said. “This also allowed investigators along with Milford Police Department in the school district to develop a safety plan to safely bring back the students to school today on March 11.”

On Friday, March 8, investigators consulted with the Delaware Department of Justice, who were in agreement with investigators to go before the Justice of the Peace Court to obtain a warrant for Caffrey for four counts of harassment stemming from this incident. 

Ashe said Caffrey is believed to be operating a gray color 2012 Nissan Titan pickup truck with plate “C484831” and/or a vanity tag of “VF6493.” 

“I can insure the parents of the Milford School District students and their staff that the Milford Police Department is doing everything that we can do to locate Mr. Caffrey,” Ashe said. “As a parent myself, I understand the concerns that parents and staff members may have expressed over the last few days. However, also as a law enforcement officer, we have to continue to balance the overall public safety and integrity of investigations so that we will continue to prosecute and bring people to justice when they do these actions.”

Amory said that she wanted to remind everyone that the safety and well-being of students, staff and community members remain a top priority. 

“Every threat that we are receiving is treated with the utmost seriousness, and we’re dedicated to upholding a secure learning environment for all,” she said. “In addition to our school counselors and support service teams, there are additional supports available throughout the week for our students and staff. We highly encourage that you keep your students in school based on our work with law enforcement we can confirm our district is safe and secure.”

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