Investigators want to who's responsible for an apparent bomb threat at the home of a woman whose husband was recently convicted on federal child porn charges.
What was later determined to be a toy grenade turned up Friday afternoon in a flower bed at the home on Creekstone Place in northeastern Forsyth County.
No one was injured during the scare, which drew local, state and federal authorities and disrupted life in the sleepy subdivision for a couple hours.
“Basically, it’s just a small toy look-alike hand grenade,” said Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Flowers. “We are investigating it.”
Flowers said authorities are trying to establish how and why the toy was left at the home, as well as who put it there.
“We will have to determine if there was any criminal intent or not,” he said.
The residence is home to Kim Pruitt, the wife of former sheriff’s deputy Milton Scott Pruitt, who is in federal custody.
A jury found him guilty in July of two counts of receiving child pornography on his home and work computers.
Prior to his sentencing hearing in October, Pruitt filed a motion for a new trial, contending evidence had been withheld from the defense.
The motion asserts that the county's information technology director purposely withheld crucial evidence from the defense and lied about it in court.
A hearing on the matter is expected next month.
Kim Pruitt deferred comment about Friday’s incident to her attorney, Ann Fitz, who also represents her husband.
Fitz said she didn’t have many details about what happened.
“Apparently, there was a neighbor that actually saw the car and saw the individual that they believe is responsible for putting it there,” she said.
“But again, I have not been on the scene and I have not spoken to many people, this is just what I’ve heard second hand.”
Authorities were called about 1:15 p.m. to the house, which is in the Riverstone Plantation neighborhood off Jot Em Down Road.
They restricted access to Creekstone Place past its crossing with Blue Willow Court until about 4 p.m.
According to Forsyth County dispatch records, the woman who reported the suspected grenade first called the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Fitz said Pruitt called her office and was advised to contact police. Her client was shaken by the incident.
“She’s dealing with a lot of other stuff and it terrifies her,” she said. “Imagine not only knowing that half the county hates you, but that somebody would actually go to this extreme to scare her.
"And what kind of message is that sending? Is it something to follow? Was it just a prank?”
Residents of the neighborhood milled around outside Friday afternoon, watching as authorities conducted their investigation.
Paula Elliott and her daughter-in-law, Cheryl Elliott, said the subdivision is usually quiet.
“Nothing ever goes on in here,” Paula Elliott said. “I’ve accidentally left my garage door open all night long before ... nothing happens.”
Cheryl Elliott said it’s rare to see emergency vehicles in the subdivision, where residents feel safe enough to run and walk at night.
Jay Moore, who lives across the street from Pruitt, stopped to talk with the Elliotts and other neighbors. Though five homes on the street were evacuated, he said his wife wasn’t allowed to leave.
As a result, Moore said, he had to leave his job in Norcross to pick up their three children from school.
Bruce Wagar, the Forsyth County school system's director of school safety, said students who live in the subdivision were held at their schools until law enforcement determined it was safe.
Students in the subdivision attend Chestatee Elementary, Little Mill Middle and North Forsyth High. Parents of those students were allowed to pick them up from their schools, Wagar said.
The Forsyth County Fire Department provided assistance during the probe, which also included officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.