A suspicious letter a man received in the mail led to a hazmat team response at the Carthage Town Hall and Fire Department Tuesday evening.
According to Carthage Town Manager Emily Yopp, the man brought the letter to the town hall seeking assistance from officials because he thought he might have been exposed to “anthrax or some other contaminant.”
The letter was placed outside on the ground, and the area around it was immediately sealed off. Once the Fayetteville hazmat team arrived, they suited up and began their examination.
“It was determined that the letter did not pose a threat to the resident or to public safety and so the hazmat team concluded its assistance to the Town of Carthage,” said Yopp.
A copy of the letter was mailed to an individual at a local media outlet, and the police are investigating if other copies were mailed out, said Carthage Police Detective Sergeant Jason Blackburn in an email to Sandhills Sentinel. Officials don’t know who mailed the letters at this time.
When asked about what was written in the letter, and what kind of substance was in it, Blackburn said, “At this time the investigation is active and I cannot disclose the content. After the initial investigation and interviews there was no powder or substance contained in the letter that would be of harm to either recipient of the letter.”
Yopp commended personnel on the scene.
“I would like to commend the Carthage Fire and Police Departments for their quick and professional response to this matter and for taking this citizen’s concerns seriously and responding accordingly to ensure the public’s safety,” said Yopp in an email to Sandhills Sentinel “I also want to thank the Fayetteville Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team for responding to the call and for their assistance in this matter.
“I am thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork that everyone exhibited during last night’s incident. I am relieved to know that this incident was not a threat to the safety of Carthage’s emergency personnel, the citizens involved, or to the safety of our community.
“However, this event should also serve as a reminder that our law enforcement, fire fighters and all the other brave men and women who serve our communities do knowingly and willingly place their lives and personal safety on the line every single day to ensure the safety of us all.
“I also want to remind everyone that if you see something, to please say something – just as this citizen did. Although a response such as the one that took place last night can be overwhelming, and for some possibly even frightening, these services exist to ensure that our communities remain safe places to live, work and play.”
A similar incident occurred in Carthage in 2019 when a female inmate sent a suspicious package to a man that had baby powder in it.
Photo: Officials close off the area where first responders investigate a suspicious package at the fire station on Dec. 27. Photo by Sandhills Sentinel/Curtis Self.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Publisher B.J. Goodridge.