The FBI and postal inspectors have ended their search for evidence inside an East Texas home in connection with the mailing of ricin-tainted letters to the president and the mayor of New York City.
FBI agents had a portion of the street in New Boston's Twin Oaks subdivision shut down for most of the day as they continued searching the home. Workers in bio-hazard suits could be seen going in and out of the house. "We wonder, living here this close, seeing them with their hazmat suits on," says neighbor Parish Lawing. "Wondering what kind of precautions we need to take. But they haven't said anything to us."
Law enforcement on the scene aren't saying anything to the media, either, about exactly what they are searching for on the property, or the couple neighbors say lives there. Neither Nathan nor Shannon Richardson were seen on the property since Thursday, when federal agents showed up and raided the home, but both were spotted going into the federal courthouse in downtown Texarkana on Friday. That's where sources say the two were questioned by investigators.
A New Boston city employee did show up at the house on Saturday, though, to pick up the family pet. "Just a house cat with nobody to take care of it, and they called us to come and move him," explained Dustin Hilton.
The federal agents packed up and left around 1 p.m. Saturday, turning the scene over to local law enforcement for security until the investigation in the home is complete. "I don't have any idea what they have or what they are doing. They say they are just taking what ever it is and they will be running the test and then be getting back with us." That's all John Carson with Bowie County Emergency Management says he knows.
A law enforcement official has told the Associated Press that the FBI initiated the search after being contacted by the resident's spouse. The official wasn't authorized to disclose information about the probe and spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity.
CBS News is reporting that Shannon Richardson told police her husband may have sent the ricin-laced letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Washington D.C.-based gun control group.
Nathan Richardson, in turn, reportedly accused his wife, saying he was set up and that he knew nothing about it. Investigators told CBS News that Shannon Richardson knows specific details about the letters.
An FBI spokesperson in Dallas wouldn't comment.
No suspects have been named.
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