Beloit Police: Investigation into mystery envelope over - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Beloit Police: Investigation into mystery envelope over... for now

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- Beloit Police say they have ended the investigation into an envelope dropped off at Beloit Area Community Health Clinic on Wednesday that prompted officials to quarantine dozens inside the building and send 15 to the hospital as a precaution.

Beloit Police Captain Vince Sciame says officials tested the envelope, bill, check and the desk it touched for dangerous residue but found nothing chemical or biological. He says there was a very small amount of whatever was inside.

Police say a man dropped off the envelope and that it was not uncommon for people to drop off bill payment there. Three women who came into contact with the envelope reported experience burning in their nose and eyes, which prompted a HAZMAT response.

Capt. Sciame says the man who dropped off the bill and payment was forthcoming when questioned by authorities and said he didn't put anything else in the envelope.

Sciame says the state's crime lab is performing more tests, but the investigation is considered closed pending those results.

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- Authorities say they are still unsure what the powder was that was inside an envelope delivered to a Beloit clinic, but they say it was not a biological or chemical agent.

Beloit Police Capt. Vince Sciame says the powder is being sent to the Wisconsin state crime lab for testing.

Sciame says police talked to the patient who delivered the envelope containing his bill payment to the Beloit Area Community Health Center on Wednesday morning. Sciame says the man says he didn't put any foreign substance in the envelope.

Sciame says the man is "dumbfounded" by what happened.

A note from Beloit police says the scene was cleared around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- City of Beloit officials say nearly 60 people who were held inside a Beloit clinic all day, pending an investigation into a suspicious letter, have now been released.

A state HAZMAT team remains on scene testing the powder found in a letter that was hand-delivered to the Beloit Community Health Center before 10 am on Wednesday. Beloit police say the Department of Military Affairs team was called in to help Rock County authorities determine whether the substance is harmful.

Beloit's Fire Chief Brad Liggett says officials began by combing the entire area for any other dangers.

"We worked with local law enforcement to make sure there weren't any other packages or suspicious deliveries anywhere else in the adjacent buildings," says Liggett.

Authorities released the patients and employees who were quarantined in the clinic around 4:30 p.m..

15 people have been decontaminated at the building and taken to hospital for further testing, decontamination and treatment. These 15 include two pregnant women, a 3-year-old child and two emergency responders. Officials say none of them are seriously hurt or ill. Three people had direct contact with the envelope that a man dropped off at the billing department.

Beloit Police Capt. Vince Sciame says employees weren't initially alarmed when the man came in with the envelope.

"[The envelope] didn't come through the U.S. mail, it was hand-delivered, which is not unusual for them to receive billing issues hand-delivered," says Sciame.

Police do have a suspect in this case. The initial description is a white man in his 50's, with white hair and a beard. He is described as skinny and wore a tan jacket.

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- WKOW 27 News reporter Jennifer Kliese is at the scene of an ongoing HAZMAT situation in Beloit where Beloit Fire officials say 60-65 people are still in the building, waiting to be released.

Authorities at the scene say those waiting are patients and employees at the Beloit Area Community Health Center, which is in the Eclipse Center, formerly known as Beloit Plaza or Beloit Mall, is a mixed-use development along the Rock River in Beloit.

Authorities say seven people have been decontaminated at the building and taken to hospital for further testing & treatment, but that none of them are seriously hurt or ill.
 
The call came in around 10:30 Wednesday morning, that three people at the Health Center were complaining of irritation and burning eyes after handling an envelope. Authorities say those three are the only ones who came into direct contact with the envelope, though four others were treated were sent to a hospital, because their age or condition could make them more susceptible to any harmful substance. One is a three-year-old child, two are pregnant women and the fourth is an immuno-compromised employee.
 
Police do have a suspect in this case. The latest description is a white man in his 50's, with white hair and beard. He is described as skinny and wore a tan jacket.
 
Authorities say the suspect hand-delivered an envelope which employees assumed was a bill, but when opened was found to contain some sort of powder came out that irritated their eyes and skin.
 
Police say there are no other suspicious packages or envelopes in the area.
 
A state HAZMAT team from Madison was called to the scene.

Stay tuned to WKOW 27 News and www.wkow.com for more information as it becomes available. 

 

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A hazardous materials(HAZMAT) team has been sent to the Beloit Area Community Health Center to investigate a white substance found on an envelope. 

The City of Beloit says three people were experiencing burning eyes after handling the envelope. Police and Fire departments are investigating the source of the contact. 

Those experiencing side-effects are being decontaminated on site and will be taken to a local hospital if additional decontamination or evaluation is necessary. 

The Beloit Fire Department tells 27 News it got the call around 10:20 a.m. Wednesday and crews were sent to 74 Eclipse Center to investigate. 

Emergency officials are asking people to stay away from the area until they can identify the substance. 

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