An unidentified undergraduate student at the University of Montana will be facing a misdemeanor charge for the unauthorized use of a vial that was removed from a lab on campus.

Communications Director Paula Short provided an update on the vial that was lost in March that still has not been found.

“Earlier this spring, University officials did alert the Missoula community in a small area around the campus about the possibility that a vial containing a toxic chemical may have been disposed of improperly,” said Short. “After a lengthy search, we still have not recovered the vial, and as time goes by, we are hoping that the risk has diminished and perhaps the vial was disposed of in a way that poses no risk.”

Short said a student is being charged with responsibility for improperly removing the vial from the lab.

“UM PD is in the process of filing a misdemeanor theft charge against the individual,” she said. “The individual had appropriate access to the lab as a student, but was not authorized to take the substance out of the lab and did so without the knowledge of the lab supervisor. I believe the individual has been served with a notice to appear, and that’s where we are in the process.”

UM Police Chief Marty Ludemann said the legal papers have been delivered to the student's attorney due to him being out of state at this time. Ludemann says the student has until the end of the month to appear in court.


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