Woman accused of making 24 pipe bombs arrested after family alerts authorities

Michelle Kolts remains in the Hillsborough County jail after being denied bail. Photo: Hillsborough County

Oct. 6 (UPI) — A 27-year-old Central Florida woman was denied bail Saturday after being arrested on charges she made 24 pipe bombs “sophisticated enough to take a lot of lives and cause catastrophic damage to anyone and anywhere,” according to the sheriff.

Michelle Kolts remains in the Hillsborough County jail after being denied bail. Wearing shackles and a suicide vest, a judge set her next court date for Tuesday.

Kolts is accused of 24 counts to make, possess, throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device.

Parents alerted authorities that their daughter had two dozen pipe bombs at the home in Wimauma, deputies said Friday.

Besides the pipe bombs, deputies found smokeless pistol powder, fuse material, 23 different knives, two hatchets, two BB/pellet type rifles, six BB/pellet type handguns, and nunchucks. They also found dozens of books and DVDs on 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,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a news conference Friday.

In addition, the parents believe she made other pipe bombs that were taken out of the house.

Authorities had known about her because an online printing company contacted the sheriff’s office reporting that she had ordered several suspicious items. At the time, they determined she was not a serious threat.

“She became consumed with the Columbine and Oklahoma killings,” Chronister told reporters. “At that time, she wasn’t diagnosed with any type of mental health diagnosis. She stated, at that time, her intentions were not to harm anyone. Her parents said she was a little on the autism spectrum.”

Deputies contacted Kolts at her job in Tampa on Thursday and she was interviewed at her home. She admitted to making the devices and wanting to hurt others, Chronister said.

“While this case is certainly alarming, it’s not to demonize an individual struggling with mental health. It’s to highlight the importance of speaking up when you see something that is not right,” explained Sheriff Chronister. “We cannot say it enough, if you see something, say something.”


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