Hillsborough County pipe bomb suspect appears in court

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County woman accused of making enough pipe bombs to harm a “significant amount of people” made her first appearance today.

The judge denied bond for 27-year-old Michelle Kolts and set another hearing for Oct. 8.

Kolts appeared from jail in shackles and a green suicide vest.

The potentially catastrophic event may have been averted after her parents alerted authorities to say that their daughter had two dozen pipe bombs, deputies said.

Michelle Kolts first appearance

Online jail records show Kolts was arrested on 24 counts of make, possess, throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

According to deputies, Kolts’ parents called the sheriff’s office after finding pipe bombs, bomb-making materials and numerous weapons in her bedroom.

Deputies arrived at the home and confiscated 24 pipe bombs, smokeless pistol powder, fuse material, 23 different knives, two hatchets, two BB/pellet type rifles, six BB/pellet type handguns, nunchucks and dozens of books and DVDs about murder, mass killing, domestic terrorism and bomb-making.

“What is even more frightening is that each of the pipe bombs contained nails, metallic pellets or a combination of both, and it would have taken less than 60 seconds per device to add the powder and fuse material she already possessed to detonate each device,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Kolts’ parents and investigators suspect there were numerous pipe bombs that had already been made and cleared out of the home, authorities said.

“Her parents did exactly what we ask people to do. See something, say something,” Chronister said.

Chronister described Kolts as Columbine-obsessed and said she had already been on their radar after an incident last year when an online printing company contacted the sheriff’s office and said she had ordered several suspicious items, but they determined she did not pose a serious threat.

(Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Chronister said the arsenal of weapons found at Kolts’ home was “sophisticated enough to take a lot of lives and cause catastrophic damage to anyone and anywhere.”

Kolts was located at her job in Tampa and brought home to be interviewed. Deputies said she admitted to making the devices and wanting to hurt others.

She was arrested without incident.

“While this case is certainly alarming, it’s not to demonize an individual struggling with mental health. It’s to highlight the importance of speaking up when you see something that is not right,” explained Sheriff Chronister. “We cannot say it enough, if you see something, say something.”

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