TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Spokane hazmat team search apartment for ricin

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 6:27 p.m.
 

SPOKANE — Authorities in hazardous-materials suits searched a downtown Spokane apartment Saturday, investigating the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin.

Few details have been released in the case, and no arrests have been made. Federal investigators have been searching for the person who sent the letters, which were postmarked Tuesday in Spokane.

The letters were addressed to the downtown post office and the adjacent federal building, but authorities have not released a potential motive. They also have not said whether the letters targeted anyone in particular.

Ricin is a highly toxic substance made from castor beans. As little as 500 micrograms, the size of the head of a pin, can kill an adult if inhaled or ingested.

There have been no reports of illness connected to the letters.

FBI agents, Spokane police and Postal Service inspectors descended on the three-story apartment building Saturday morning and the investigation continued into the afternoon.

FBI spokeswoman Ayn Sandalo Dietrich would not say whether agents were questioning anyone in connection with the case.

“We are not actively looking for a subject,” Sandalo Dietrich said. “We are not asking the public's help in bringing someone in.”

Despite the hazmat suits, officials said apartment residents were not at risk, and people were seen coming in and out of the building.

“There's no public risk,” Sandalo Dietrich said.

Sandalo Dietrich would not say specifically why the FBI was searching the apartment.

“Information we developed led us to believe this was a productive spot to search,” she said.

Two letters containing the substance were intercepted at the downtown Spokane post office on Tuesday.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Obama: U.S. embassy in Havana marks ‘new chapter’ in Cuba ties
  2. GOP observers take notice as Trump hires seasoned operative
  3. Official: Fire at South Carolina black church wasn’t arson
  4. Charter lapses for Export-Import Bank; conservatives vow to block revival in House
  5. Ten Commandments monument orderered removed from Oklahoma Capitol grounds
  6. FDA review of OxyContin abuse-deterrent version put on hold by maker
  7. White House intruders beware: Spikes planned
  8. Emails from Clinton’s first year as secretary of State out
  9. U.S., Cuba to announce plan to open embassies
  10. Supreme Court to take up mandated dues for public employees unions in next term
  11. VA whistleblowers group asks Obama to replace acting inspector general