Mystery Over White Powder
Some Marion County employees got a scare today, when they opened their mail... and white powder fell out. Several schools, libraries and even a church received the envelopes. A hazardous materials team was called in to find out what the powder was.
Most of the places that received the envelopes double as polling stations. And now many employees say they think the letters were intended to arrive tomorrow... in an attempt to sabotage the election.
It started like many other Monday mornings ... with opening the mail. But One morning, Candace Orkwis... who's a secretary at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Dunnellon... received a shock... when a white powder substance fell out.
"I was scared. I was shaking a bit. I figured it was anthrax or ricing."
And she says everyone in the office was in shock.
The church was under quarantine for four hours... and Orkwis says by the time she was given the o-k, she was told by deputies the number of cases had been bumped up to 16. Some of those businesses include two libraries, the supervisor of elections office, and three schools.
A hazmat team tested the white powder. It wasn't hazardous... in fact it's just bleach flour.
The envelopes were mailed from a Northwest Ocala address that doesn't exist.
Special Agent Rick Dent with the F-B-I released this statement to us: we are aware of the situation and we are looking at it with our law enforcement partners. it's too preliminary to speak at this time.
Orkwis says she thinks the church received an envelope... along with the other businesses... because it's a polling location.
It wasn't just Marion County that was hit. Alachua County also had a case, when an envelope was sent to the Gainesville Sun. Officials are asking that if you receive a letter, do not open it. put it in a garbage bag, wash your hands, and call law enforcement.
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