Update: 'White, Powdery Substance' Found at Kane County Branch Court

The white powder was found in a letter opened Monday morning. Here's what happened.

This post was updated Monday afternoon with more information about what the substance found might have been.

A Kane County court branch was reopened Monday afternoon after officials investigated a "white, powdery substance" found in a letter.

An employee working at the Kane County Branch Court and Circuit Clerk's Office, 530 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, opened a letter that contained the unknown substance. County Sheriff’s Court Security Officers notified deputies about the substance at about 10 a.m. Monday, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.

"Members of the HAZMAT team were able to determine that the substance was not a hazardous material and that there was no threat to anyone in the building," the release said.

The letter was a court order addressed to the clerk's office, not anyone specific, said Lt. Pat Gengler, Kane Co. Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Investigators think the substance might be dried-up Wite-Out, or correction fluid, Gengler said. There was a lot of Wite-Out used on the letter.

The building was reopened at about 12:20 p.m. Monday, the release said.

Emergency Response

The courthouse and Clerk’s Office were locked down while the following emergency crews responded to the scene:

  • Kane County Sheriff’s Office
  • St. Charles Fire Department
  • MABAS Division 13 HAZMAT Advisory Team

After the initial call, Hazmat advisers were requested at about 10:45 a.m. to the branch court and circuit clerk's office, according to scanner reports.

While the building was locked down, no persons were allowed in or were allowed to leave. There were about 100 people inside the building during the lockdown.

No one was injured during the incident. 

"Once an employee sees the substance, they are not to continue to disturb it," Gengler said in an e-mail to Patch. "They need to report it so we can handle the situation appropriately to ensure the safety of the people who work or do business at the facility, and the emergency responders who are handling the situation."

A previous suspicious incident occurred on May 2 over at the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 Rt. 38 in St. Charles Township. The center's entrance off Peck Road was closed while investigators looked into a package found in the Judicial Center parking lot. 


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