LATEST: Package Left Inside Fifth Third Bank Did Not Contain Explosives; Woman Charged in Incident


Published on October 17 2019 3:41 pm
Last Updated on October 18 2019 10:25 am
Written by Greg Sapp


A package left inside Fifth Third Bank in downtown Effingham Thursday afternoon was not an explosive device.

At approximately 1:53pm, Effingham city police received a report of a suspicious subject at the bank. A woman, 58-year-old Diana L. Keen of Elkhart, Indiana, reportedly gave a package to a teller while acting suspiciously; Keen subsequently left without identifying herself or without doing business with the bank. Due to the nature of Keen's demeanor, bank employees notified authorities and evacuated the building. City officers observed Keen a few minutes later and detained her for questioning. City Police Chief Jason McFarland said the package was on the counter in front of where tellers work with customers.


Effingham firefighters did a preliminary examination of the package and said they didn't believe it contained anything harmful or hazardous, but to ensure there was not a problem, the Illinois Secretary of State Bomb Squad was called to the scene, arriving from Springfield at about 4:40 pm. Wearing a suit designed to protect against explosions, a team member removed the package from the bank. The package was X-rayed inside the bank before being removed. A bomb sniffing dog also examined the package and found it did not contain explosives.


Bank staff remained on scene to make sure the facility was properly secured once the incident was concluded.

Keen, who was listed on the county jail booking sheet as a resident of Cerro Gordo, was arrested and is currently being held at Effingham County Jail awaiting a bond hearing on a Class 3 Felony charge of Disorderly Conduct-False Alarm.

Chief McFarland noted the swift response and teamwork of all involved, saying, "Employees immediately called police, which allowed our officers to locate the suspect within minutes of notification. Because of the serious, unique nature of the threat, additional resources were called in to assist in the investigation. Excellent teamwork was displayed by all the agencies working together for the common goal of mitigating the situation and eliminating any potential harm to citizens. We are confident this individual was acting alone, and do not believe there are any additional threats to the community associated with this incident."