Michelle Kolts, a 27-year-old Wimauma resident, was arrested after Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies found 24 pipe bombs; dozens of books and DVDs about murder and mass killings; and several guns in her home.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Florida deputies walked into a den of guns and bombs when concerned parents called them and described suspicious materials in their daughter’s room.
At about 5 p.m. Thursday, the parents of Michelle Kolts, a 27-year-old Wimauma resident, called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office worried about things they found in her room.
Deputies said they found pipe bombs, bomb making materials and several weapons.
“Her parents did exactly what we ask people to do,” Sheriff Chad Chronister told a news conference. “See something, say something,”
When deputies went to the home they recognized the materials and cleared the house due to the possibility of several pipe bombs being active.
Once all the suspicious and deadly items were bagged and tagged, deputies left the home with:
▪ 24 pipe bombs
▪ Smokeless pistol powder
▪ Fuse material
▪ 23 different knives
▪ Two hatchets
▪ Two BB/pellet type rifles
▪ Six BB/pellet type handguns,
▪ 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,” Chronister said.
Chronister said the bombs and weapons could have caused “catastrophic” damage and hurt “hundreds, if not thousands of people.”
Deputies found Kolts at her job in Tampa and she agreed to talk to them. Deputies said she admitted to making the devices and “planned to use them to hurt others.” Chronister said.
A year ago, deputies went to Kolts’ home because an online printing company found it suspicious that she had ordered several manifests, anarchist instructions and bomb-making books, deputies said.
“She became consumed with the Columbine and Oklahoma killings,” Chronister said.
She was not reprimanded or arrested at the time because she wasn’t diagnosed with any mental health issues and she said that her intentions were not to hurt people. Her parents also told deputies that she was “a little bit on the autism spectrum,” Chronister said.
Kolts was then arrested and is facing 24 counts of making a destructive device with intent to harm. Both the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are involved in the ongoing investigation.
“While this case is certainly alarming, it’s not to demonize an individual struggling with mental health,” Chronister said. “It’s to highlight the importance of speaking up when you see something that is not right.”