Two teens charged in S.C. anthrax hoax

Two South Carolina teens were charged with disturbing schools after a “joke” sparked a serious hazmat scare at their Murrells Inlet high school on April 29, police have announced.

Tyler Bullock, 18, and John Hanna, 17, were each been charged with disturbing schools, Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler told The pair of St. James High School students were charged at the Magistrate Court on Monday.

According to a police report, officers responded to St. James High School just after 3:15 p.m. to investigate reports of a suspicious note. School principal Joe Dowling told police four students walked into the front office and said they had found a note with the word "bomb" written at the top. According to the police report, the note further stated that the note had been laced with anthrax and the receiver would die a "slow and painful death."

Police said the threat was written backwards and could only be read with the help of a mirror. At least one suspect's name was written at the bottom of the note. Police said one of the suspects said the letter was a joke between friends and that it should have been tossed in the trash.

The four students who handled the note were checked out by a hazmat team and were released to their parents, officials said. No one was harmed and subsequent testing of the letter by Horry County Police revealed no residue or powder was present on the letter.