DATELINE: BLACKFOOT, Idaho — The incident unfolded on Nov. 9 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Young Women’s group and their adult leader left Thanksgiving thank-you notes at the homes of members in their congregation. Sometime around 7:30 p.m., the girls went to Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland’s home and dropped off a note.
Shortly after the girls left the note, multiple sources tell EastIdahoNews.com Rowland came out of his house with a gun. The sheriff was reportedly yelling and made his way over to the car with the girls and their leader. He then allegedly pulled the woman out of the vehicle and made further threats, according to sources close to the investigation.
The woman and girls were eventually able to drive away and a 911 call was made to Bingham County Dispatch about the incident. A Blackfoot Police detective took a report.
It’s unclear why Rowland allegedly lashed out at the group, but as of Monday, no criminal charges have been filed against him.
“I have no comments,” Rowland responded when contacted by EastIdahoNews.com.
Rowland has been the sheriff of Bingham County since being elected in 2012. He was re-elected in November 2020 for his third term.
Bingham County gave no statement other than to say they have no statement.
Church officials and others with knowledge of the case have stated that prior to the incident Rowland had received multiple death threats, and when the female youth group arrived at his home for the surprise visit he didn’t know who they were or what they were doing.
Church officials said the female youth group’s intentions were not malicious and they visited his home to provide a random act of kindness such as leaving food or a hand-written note of thanks.
The female youth group in this case was attempting to surprise the sheriff with a turkey made out of paper, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
The female youth groups usually travel with 2 adults and the girls are 11-16 years old.