An intruder call at a home near Chance Elementary School and Centralia High School put both buildings on lockdown Tuesday morning.
A woman called authorities to report finding an unknown person in her basement shortly before 11 a.m Tuesday.
Officers got to the home on South Rollins Street, and learned the suspect had left and ran south.
Boone County deputies used a K9 unit to help in searching for the suspect.
Authorities never found the suspect, and the lock down was lifted at around 12:45 p.m.
Centralia school district superintendent Darin Ford said Centralia police contacted the school and they were able to work together to lock down the buildings.
He said the staff prepares for emergency situations like this year round so they were ready and able to execute the lock down quickly, quietly and smoothly.
“I’m never really worried that our staff won’t react in an appropriate manner,” said Ford.
The schools are always locked anyway and they have a buzzer system to let people in, but staff raised security and kept students indoors for the time being, especially the high school because students do have to go outside to get to class.
Ford also contacted parents to let them know what was happening.
Ford said the lock down went smoothly and although it was only a precautionary measure, it was better for the students to be proactive nad safe rather than sorry.
Once we make that call, it’s for the safety of the kids and really when you make that call you’re not completely sure,” he said. “We’re always going to err on the side of being safe so if we’re not sure and there’s a situation we just don’t have complete control over and want to take that extra step, we’ll certainly take it every time.”
Centralia police said they were glad the schools were on lock down as well because they didn’t know how the situation would turn out.
“The fact is we don’t know who this guy is, what he’s up to, or anything else,” said assistant police chief Robert Bias. “Our school children are pretty special to everyone and so that’s what we did.”