Coyote Village evacuation investigation continues

There's still no word as to when or if charges will be filed against a former University of South Dakota student whose room contents led to a partial evacuation of Coyote Village.

Calls made to Clay County State's Attorney Teddi Gertsema were not returned as of press time, but she had said last week that she was waiting on information from the Division of Criminal Investigation, which is conducting the investigation.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Coyote village staff members were checking a room that had been vacated by a former student when they uncovered items "possibly considered explosive in nature," said Phil Carter, manager of media relations for USD.

According to a story filed Feb. 14 by The Volante – the USD student newspaper – the student's former roommate described seeing a jar containing "some kind of liquid" during the search.

Campus police and the Vermillion Police Department were notified, and authorities from Sioux Falls – along with a "bomb squad" vehicle – appeared on the scene that same night.

Approximately 20 students were evacuated from Coyote Village as a safety precaution, Carter said.

Elan Haba, a 19-year-old sophomore from the Rutgers-Newark campus in Newark, NJ, was arrested later that night after he was connected with the USD student by officials.

Haba was arrested on charges that include theft, and possession of fireworks and a prohibited weapon. He was released on a summons by Feb. 8.

The name of the USD student has not been released to the public.

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