A mother ran to console her child Wednesday morning after the Child Care Network was evacuated when a suspicious package was tossed into the play yard.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said wires were taped to the cardboard box.
“It turned out to be an empty box, but somebody went to the effort of making it look like it was an explosive device,” Davis said shortly after the all-clear had been given at the center.
Some washers and a microchip also were found in the box.
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Northside Drive was temporarily shut down between Forest Hill Road and Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. as the Bibb sheriff’s bomb squad investigated the package.
At about 9:20 a.m., a day care employee noticed something suspcious at the Child Care Network day care center, Davis said.
A black sedan pulled off Northside Drive between the day care center and American LubeFast and a man got out of the passenger side and ran toward the play yard, Davis said.
Bibb sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Randy Gonzalez said: “A white male got out and threw a cardboard box over the fence and into the play yard.”
The man ran back, got in the car, which made a U-turn on Northside and drove off toward Forest Hill.
Davis said it was initially unclear whether he was alone in the vehicle.
Deputies evacuated the center, shut down the road and called in the bomb squad, Gonzalez said.
The children were loaded onto two school buses and taken down the street to the Ashley Woods Park apartments, where parents could pick them up.
No bomb threats were initially reported, but authorities are still investigating.
“This is obviously a criminal investigation,” Davis said. “We’re taking the box as evidence.”
Several weeks ago, repeated bomb threats were called in to south Bibb County day care facilities.
Davis said they are trying to determine if there was a reason for the day care to be targeted.
He praised the Child Care Network staff’s handling of the incident.
“The day care did a good job of following procedures.”
Anyone with information is urged to call for an investigator at 478-751-7500 or Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.