Investigators in Bartow say a pair of local middle school girls plotted to kill fellow students, drink their blood and then kill themselves.
According to the bizarre story shown on ABC News and other local outlets of national networks, two students, ages 11 and 12, were found Tuesday lurking in a school bathroom by the assistant principal. They had brought a goblet, an arsenal of knives and even a pizza cutter into the bathroom.
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The girls "were waiting in the bathroom for [an] opportunity to find smaller kids they could overpower to be their victims,” Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall said in a news conference Wednesday.
They told police they had planned to kill at least 15 people in the name of devil worship.
Detectives said the two students, close friends, devised the plot while watching “scary” movies at one of their houses over the weekend.
The girls face charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and possession of a weapon at school, among other charges. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether the girls will be charged formally as juveniles or adults, Deputy Police Chief Bryan Dorman said in an email.
After their arrest, the girls were sent to a juvenile detention facility.
"As I sat there last night [and] watched these interviews [with investigators], I do not believe this was a joke," Hall added.
In messages found on the girls' cellphones after they were arrested, they allegedly wrote that they would leave "body parts at the entrance" and then take their own lives.
Bartow Middle parent Sandy Ramos told Sunshine State News through tears on Thursday, "I've been shaking ever since I found out. It's not just guns we have to worry about. What's happening to our children, just babies ... that they want to become killers?"
A search of the girls' homes turned up a hand-drawn map with the words "Go to kill in bathroom" written on it, police said.
“This is horrific, and if I had children in school I’d be scared to death,” Hall said.
Bartow is located in the heart of Florida’s citrus belt.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith. The majority of information for this story was culled from TV and radio reports.