Search continues for person behind Yik Yak posts that closed high school

Anonymous messages posted on Yik Yak prompt school closure in Manhattan Beach

Police have not yet identified the anonymous person who posted messages on Yik Yak that were deemed threatening and led to the closure of Mira Costa High School. But the investigation continued Tuesday afternoon with hopes of finding the sender soon, Officer Stephanie Martin said.

Yik Yak, a popular app available on Apple and Android devices, has come under fire after anonymous messages prompted lockdowns and closures at schools in California and other parts of the nation.

On Monday, a student at Mira Costa in Manhattan Beach spotted the first message, which was posted about 11 a.m. Monday --  "If you go to Costa, you should watch out very closely at school today" -- and reported it to a teacher.

The second message was posted about 4 p.m., saying, "nice try Costa, today was just a drill."

Hours later, a third message appeared: "tomorrow at 2 be ready Costa, you're going on lockdown."

Martin said she was grateful the student showed the messages to the teacher and "spoke up, instead of sitting back‎."

The high school, in the 1400 block of Artesia Boulevard, was locked down Monday and then closed on Tuesday.

This week, an Illinois high school beefed up security in response to a Yik Yak threat. And in October a Drake University student was charged with threatening a campus shooting via Yik Yak, according to the Des Moines Register. Earlier this year, two teens in Alabama were arrested for alleged threats made on the site.

Closer to home, a bomb threat on Yik Yak in March spurred sheriff’s and school officials to lock down San Clemente High School. 

In March, a cofounder of Yik Yak who chose to remain anonymous defended the app, saying in a news release: “We created Yik Yak to give college students a private platform for communicating with their entire campus. Yakkers have used the app to find a place to crash, report lost and found items and alert other students about deals at nearby bars.”

For breaking news throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

This post was updated at 7:37 a.m. and 3:37 p.m. to add new details. It was originally published at 6:16 a.m.

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