The message posted on a Facebook memorial site carried threats to US children.

Police have charged a man in the northeast of England with making online threats to kill 200 US schoolchildren.

Reece Elliott, 24, was arrested by Northumbria police on Friday after allegedly posting the death threats on a memorial site for a girl killed in a road accident last year in Tennessee.

The threats were posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Caitlyn Talley, a student who died in an car accident last year in Warren County, Tennessee.

The messages, posted under the username "Christos Fixed Gilarnes", said: "My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster. Then I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast.

"I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself."

Elliott is being held at South Shields police station. He is to appear before magistrates, having been charged with making threats to kill.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: "At 2.12pm on Friday 8 February, police received notification that a man had posted threatening information on Facebook.

"A 24-year-old man from South Shields has been arrested on suspicion of threats to kill and is currently in custody.

"The message is believed to have been posted on Wednesday. There is nothing to suggest it posed any physical threat to any school either here or in America."

Schools in Warren County tightened security after fielding hundreds of calls from concerned parents. Up to 3,000 students are believed to have been kept home from school on Thursday, the day after the threats were made.

The US Department for Homeland Security and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were both involved in identifying the source of the post, according to US radio network WGSN. Both have been informed of the arrest by Northumbria police.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said its agents were helping in the investigation.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported police officers were posted to 11 schools in the Warren County area.

It is unclear whether a potential prosecution would go proceeed in the UK, the US, or both.