Initial tests showed the powder was not hazardous, but the intent is under investigation
PANAMA CITY — After only two days of reopening for business, the Bay County Courthouse was abruptly closed Wednesday after a judge’s clerk received a suspicious package containing a white powder, according to official reports.
Initial tests showed the powder was not hazardous, but the intent is under investigation, officials reported.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office responded to the courthouse about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday after a judicial assistant for Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet reported the suspicious package containing white powder.
The package had been opened by the assistant, who got the white powder on her skin. BCSO bailiffs immediately secured the scene, and BCSO’s bomb squad and hazmat team and the Panama City Fire Department responded.
“Officers did a threat assessment, and the powder was found to contain no hazardous materials,” said Ruth Corley, spokeswoman for BCSO.
Corley said despite the substance not being harmful, that the intention of the package remains unclear. Whether charges could be forthcoming was unclear as the investigation is ongoing.
Bay County courts only reopened Monday after three weeks of being shuttered because of Hurricane Michael.