Mysterious Letters Sent to UC Irvine Campus
On Monday, Jan. 4, two alarming letters were found in faculty mailboxes, containing white powder inside next to the words “Black Death.” As of today, Jan. 7, there have been a total of five letters found, each identical both in description and Idaho return address. Each letter was removed carefully by the Irvine Fire Dept. and were tested on-site for whether or not the powders were bio-hazardous. None of the letters thus far have proven to be bio-hazardous and FBI, UCI Police Department and postal inspectors are all currently investigating the source of the letters. Most recently, UCIPD’s Chief of Police, Paul Henisey sent a message to all students reading:
"Yesterday (January 6), a fifth suspicious envelope was discovered (but not opened) by UC Irvine staff working in the Arts, Culture, and Technology building. The letter was addressed to a male faculty member in the School of the Arts. Alert staff detected a granular substance in the envelope and called UCI police. The powder will be tested. Powder from four identical envelopes received by UCI employees -- two discovered Monday and two more opened Tuesday -- has been analyzed and was found to be harmless. No one has become ill. We anticipate additional letters that originate in Idaho, contain the white powder, and include the words "Black Death" will be discovered. Please use caution when examining incoming mail. If you receive an envelope with an Idaho postmark from someone you do not know, do not open it; immediately call 911 or the UCI Police Department at (949) 824-5223. Plastic bags for handling items that you feel are suspicious, but do not meet the criteria described above, were delivered to campus mail stations yesterday. UCI employees are encouraged to return these unopened items to Distribution and Document Management in the plastic bags provided per the instructions included with the bags. Full procedures for handling suspicious mail can be viewed at http://www.ddm.uci.edu."