May 3, 2009
STARKVILLE -- The suspicious white powder found April 23 in a Mississippi State University auditorium turned out to be nothing more than a mistake, police said Friday.
Professor Bob Raymond was preparing for a class in an auditorium in Mitchell Memorial Library April 23 when he noticed a couple of envelopes on a nearby table. Raymond opened one of the envelopes and discovered white powder, so he called in MSU police to investigate.
Police contacted Terry Coggins, from the university''s radiation safety and chemical hygiene office, and the room was quarantined. Raymond and a few of his students who were in the room also were quarantined briefly, though eventually the group was released.
Since the incident, Coggins has determined the suspicious substance was "consistent with baby powder," MSU Police Department Chief Georgia Lindley said.
However, Lindley doesn''t believe the powder was left in the auditorium as part of a hoax.
Police have determined a crisis management class was held in the auditorium several days before the powder was found, Lindley said. The envelopes were props in the class and were "inadvertently left there," she said.
"It made everybody feel better to find out they were just props after everybody got all excited," Lindley said.