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Police: Man who delivered envelope of suspicious powder may be a patient

Published On: Apr 18 2013 04:26:44 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2013 05:20:32 PM CDT
BELOIT. Wis. -

Police said investigators believe the person who dropped off an envelope containing suspicious powder at the Beloit Area Community Health Center was a patient.

In a news conference at 4:25 Wednesday afternoon, Beloit police Capt. Vince Sciame said investigators are headed to the home of that individual, though Sciame did not share the man's name.

An official in Beloit also updated the number of people who were decontaminated and taken to area hospitals to 15 and have been released. Sciame said the 56 who were quarantined were released home.

"[The 56 released] hadn’t been experiencing any symptoms nor were they nearby when the envelope was opened," Sciame said. "That’s the reason we’ve removed them now."

The three original people were the only ones with symptoms, Sciame added.

Beth Jacobsen is the assistant to the city manager of Beloit. She said a man hand-delivered an envelope containing powder to the Beloit Area Community Health Center Wednesday morning. Employees called 911 after three people who handled the envelope experienced burning and discomfort in their eyes and noses.

She said some of the people were taken to the hospital as a precaution and may not have had direct contact with the substance.

The 15 who were taken to hospitals included two emergency responders, a 3-year-old child and two pregnant women.

Lt. Joe Trovato of Wisconsin National Guard said its 54th Civil Support Team is on scene and expected to test the substance in a mobile lab Wednesday.

Sciame said results of substance testing could be available from the state hazmat team as early as 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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