A 20-year-old woman suspected of posting threatening messages on social media, indicating she intended to perpetrate violence at a Menifee high school, was behind bars Friday.
Julianna Ortega of Menifee was arrested and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta Thursday on suspicion of making criminal threats against a school. Bail information was not immediately available.
According to Menifee police Capt. Dave Gutierrez, about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a parent whose child attends Paloma Valley High School spotted social media posts declaring there would be an attack on the campus. The specific content was not disclosed.
The party, whose identity was not released, called 911, and Menifee police detectives initiated an investigation, obtaining a search warrant to access the online account from which the threats originated, Gutierrez said.
He alleged Ortega was identified as the source.
“She is known to MPD from recent contacts,” the captain said. “It was also discovered that she graduated from Paloma Valley High School in 2018.”
According to Gutierrez, the suspect was driving around the city when patrol officers spotted her in the area of Haun and Newport roads, where she was pulled over.
“Ortega admitted posting the threatening statements on social media,” he said. “It was determined Ortega acted alone and did not have the current means to act on the stated threats.”
A possible motive for the woman’s alleged behavior was not provided.
It was the second time this week that threats were allegedly directed at a Menifee campus. On Wednesday, two boys were arrested and booked into Riverside Juvenile Hall for allegedly threatening unspecified acts of violence on the campus of Heritage High School.
“MPD wants everyone to know that all threats, especially those directed at school grounds, will be taken seriously,” Gutierrez said.