WIMAUMA, Fla. - A Wimauma woman was arrested early Friday morning after her parents found a "significant" amount of pipe bombs in her bedroom, the sheriff announced.
Investigators said the parents of 27-year-old Michelle Louise Kolts called them after the discovery. The sheriff's office bomb squad responded and found two dozen pipe bombs, smokeless pistol powder, fused material, 23 different knives, two hatchets, nunchucks, two BB pellet-type rifles, six BB pellet-type handguns, and dozens of books and DVDs about murder, mass killings, bomb-making and domestic terrorism.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said each pipe bomb contained nails, metallic pellets, or a combination of both.
"It would've taken less than 60 seconds per device to add the powder-infused material she already possessed to detonate each bomb. If used, these bombs could've caused catastrophic damage and harm to hundreds, even thousands of people," he said during a press conference.
Chronister said deputies found her at her job, and she returned home. They said she admitted to making the pipe bombs and planned to use them to hurt people. She didn't specify how and where she wanted to detonate them, the sheriff added.
"We're not aware of any type of hit list," he said. "Her statements are very generic."
The only other time deputies responded to the Wimauma home was in August 2018, after an online printing company alerted them that Kolts requested several manifests on anarchists and making bombs.
"She became consumed with the Columbine and Oklahoma killings," Chronister explained. "At that time, she wasn't diagnosed with any type of mental health diagnosis at the time. She stated, at that time, her intentions were not to harm anyone. Her parents said she was a little on the autism spectrum."
He said in 2018, deputies felt comfortable that she wasn't a harm to herself or others.
"Fast forward a year later," Chronister said, "thank God these parents called us. I could only imagine how difficult it is to call anyone in ... but a loved one or family member? You can appreciate the fact that they had the courage to call us."
He said while the case is alarming, he didn't want to "demonize another individual struggling with mental health." He said it's still important to report suspicious activities.
"Who knows the amount of harm that could've been done, had these parents not found the courage to call the sheriff's office and seek help," the sheriff said. "If you see something suspicious, please say something. They called 911 immediately."