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Tue April 16, 2013
UPDATE: Valley Drive In Las Cruces Reopens; No Threat From Unattended Backpack
Doña Ana County Fire and emergency crews, along with the Doña Ana County Bomb Squad, has determined that a backpack located in a neighborhood north of Las Cruces did not contain anything suspicious or dangerous, according to first responders at the scene.
The intersection at North Valley Drive and Jeanne Court has been reopened and a shelter-in-place order at East Picacho Elementary has been lifted, according to school officials.
A neighbor in the area reportedly saw a pink and black backpack hanging on a fence around 7:30 Tuesday morning and decided to call 911. Doña Ana County Deputy Fire Marshal Eric Crespin said all standard procedures and protocols were followed in mitigating the situation.
The Doña Ana County Bomb Squad used robotic technology to determine that all contents of the backpack were not life-threatening.
Las Cruces Public Schools has reportedly taken possession of the backpack. All traffic in the area has returned to normal.
The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department, along with Doña Ana County Fire and Emergency Services, have blocked access to a residential area near East Picacho Elementary School after a suspicious backpack was reportedly seen hanging on a fence.
Around 7:32 Tuesday morning, a homeowner who lives near the intersection of North Valley Drive and Jeanne Court called 911 to report the pink and black backpack. As a result, fire crews and law enforcement have blocked that intersection and are working with the administration at the school to have students and faculty stay indoors while the backpack is removed.
The Doña Ana County Bomb Squad is in route to help with the removal, and to ensure nothing out of the ordinary is inside. According to Doña Ana County Deputy Fire Marshal Eric Crespin, this response is standard protocol in situations of this nature.
The homeowner has been evacuated from his home, but no other residents in the area have been affected.
Until further notice, all north and south bound traffic on N. Valley Drive is being rerouted.