PITTSFIELD — An Etna woman who wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend was arrested after she directed two separate bomb threats at Puritan Medical Products where he worked, forcing evacuations and disrupting manufacturing operations, police and company officials said Friday.

Kayla Blake Photo courtesy of Somerset County sheriff’s office

Pittsfield police Chief Harold “Pete” Bickmore said the first threat was made around 9 a.m. Thursday when a woman called Maine State Police and said she was going to place a bomb at the Puritan plant at 129 North Main St. The same woman in a second call two hours later said she intended to place four pipe bombs near the plant, Bickmore said.

State Police notified Pittsfield police and the sheriff’s offices in both Somerset and Penobscot counties, and then traced the call to Etna, Bickmore said. Penobscot deputies found the woman after interviewing people in an Etna neighborhood. The deputies secured a confession from the woman, who said there were no bombs, according to Bickmore.

She was identified by authorities as 33-year-old Kayla Blake. She was charged with a felony count of terrorizing and taken to the Somerset County Jail. Her bail was set at $1,500 and she was ordered to stay away from Puritan property and not contact the company.

Puritan, a Guilford-based company, has two manufacturing sites in Pittsfield. Both produce swabs for medical use, primarily for COVID-19 tests.

The two plants are in proximity to one another so the company chose to evacuate both locations, said Kristy Rizzitello, director of human resources for Puritan. That meant sending home workers on first shift who were already at the two plants, and telling those on the second shift not to come in for the day — affecting around 400 people.

Rizzitello said Puritan was told of the arrest Thursday night so employees were able to return to work Friday. The company is still assessing losses associated with the evacuation, but Thursday is typically a full manufacturing day so it was a full day’s loss of production.

Bickmore said the investigation into the threats involved several other agencies, as well, including the Pittsfield Fire Department, the FBI and Cianbro security. Cianbro owns the building on North Main Street and assists Puritan with security. Bickmore said he appreciated the assistance from the other agencies, especially since the Pittsfield police force has been short-staffed for months.

“It was great teamwork,” Bickmore said. “It was a great investigation and hard work by Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office deputies. I can’t say enough about all their hard work and the support we got from the Maine State Police and the FBI.”

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