Late Tuesday morning employees in the Sheridan County Clerk of Circuit Court’s office opened their mail and found an envelope containing a suspicious white powder. The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Deputy on site was notified and immediately called in the report.
The 1st and 2nd floors of the old courthouse building were immediately evacuated and teams were called in from the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, Sheridan Emergency Management, Sheridan Fire-Rescue and Hazmat. Under the direction of Sheriff Dave Hofmeier and Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Coleman, HAZMAT teams began a thorough search of the Clerk’s offices and started testing the white substance found in the envelope. Courthouse employees were checked by Sheridan Fire-Rescue and then allowed to leave the building.
Sheriff Hofmeier says his office will begin an investigation once the HAZMAT crews are through with their work. There was apparently writing on the outside of the envelope and Hofmeier suggested they may have an idea of who sent the letter. He will not have any more information until the envelope can be inspected by investigators.
Hofmeier says the response may seem like an overreaction if the powder turns out to be inert, but prudence suggests that law enforcement treat it as serious health risk no matter the circumstances.
We’ll keep you updated at sheirdanmedia.com and on NewsTalk 930, KROE as more information becomes available. At this time the old section of the Courthouse is closed and all services including County Public Works and the Circuit Court will remain closed until further notice.