The author of hate mail, who had stirred a racial scare on the campus of Trinity International University (TIU) over the recent weeks, was arrested yesterday, April 26.
The perpetrator of this hate crime had turned out to be one of the Deerfield, Ill.-based schools own students, Alicia Hardin, reported CBS2 Chicago news.
According to Lake County prosecutor George Strickland, this 19-year-old African-American female student has been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and a felony hate crime that could bring up to five years in prison if convicted.
During the past two weeks, Hardins racially motivated letters were sent to three minority students at the evangelical Christian university. The third letter, which had included threats of physical violence against a black female student, prompted the school to remove dozens of black and Hispanic students from campus on Thursday upon its finding.
Hardin apparently took such action, said the investigators, in order to convince her parents the school was too dangerous for her to stay, in hopes to stop attending the school.
Her plan was to convince her parents it wasn't a safe place for her to go to school, said Police Lieutenant Ronald Price.
Police and school officials said it was the interviews and tips from students that led them to Hardin.
The students who had evacuated from the campus last week returned to classes on Monday after many spent the weekend at a hotel or with friends and relatives.
University president Greg Waybright showed grief, calling the incident agonizing.
"This is an agonizing moment for Trinity, one that is unprecedented for our university," Waybright said in a statement. "We are heartbroken by this revelation because we consider each student a member of our family. We also have a sense of relief because this difficult situation appears to be resolved."
Though shocked by the whole incident, most have been reported to say they are feeling more sympathy than anger.
I don't think she's that type of person. She's nice; we grew up together, said Shana Hunt, a friend of Hardin.
Family friend Gladys Jackson also showed her sympathy saying, I think she's just a young girl who didn't know how to get out of something. She's a nice girl who would never harm anybody."