Powder found at Lake County Courthouse not toxic

Officials: Business as usual to resume Wednesday


TAVARES, Fla. – Samples of a suspicious white powder delivered to the Lake County Courthouse on Tuesday have been tested and will undergo more tests at a state lab, officials said.

The white powder was inside a package opened in a judge's office on the fifth floor around 3:15 p.m., causing the entire floor to evacuate and placing four people in quarantine, according to officials.

Hazmat crews swarmed the building, and those four individuals were medically evaluated, decontaminated and forced to change clothes before being allowed to go home.

Results from the substance found that it was not toxic. Fire and sheriff's officials will not say to whom the package was addressed, or which judge's suite was targeted.

It's unclear how the package arrived inside the courthouse and whether it was sorted in the mailroom before being sent to the fifth-floor judge's suite.

Crime Scene Investigators spent the evening taking pictures upstairs. The next step for investigators will be to find out who sent the package and why, said Lake County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jim Vachon.

The courthouse opened Wednesday morning, except for the effected judge's office on the fifth floor that needs thorough decontamination.

"That one office suite is closed off until our hazmat crew can come back in the morning and decontaminate the entire office," said Tavares spokeswoman Joyce Ross. "It'll be business as usual tomorrow at the Lake County Courthouse."