Officers in Virginia foiled a plot by two pre-teen girls to kill their 11-year-old classmate after a parent discovered a “cryptic” text message exchange, the Prince William County Police Department said.
The suspects, ages 10 and 11, were arrested on May 3 and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a felony.
The arrests came after someone contacted staff members at Prince William County School on April 25 and alerted them to the alleged plot, police spokesman Jonathan Perok said.
“It was a parent, but not a parent of those involved and the school notified us,” Perok told HuffPost.
While police did not disclose the content of the text messages, the department did report that the girls discussed in detail how they planned to kill the student. The suspects also allegedly encouraged each other to delete message threads related to those plans. A motive in the alleged plot is unclear.
While no threat to harm the victim was carried out, investigators decided to file charges after consulting the district attorney’s office.
“Obviously, we took it seriously,” Perok said. “This is not something we commonly see.”
The young suspects, whose names were not released due to their ages, have been charged as juveniles. Conspiracy to commit a felony in Virginia carries a maximum sentence of up to five years behind bars.
A court date for the girls is pending.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.