The suspect believed to be behind the mailing of ricin-filled letters to Washington has been released. Federal agents arrested an individual suspected of mailing suspicious poisonous letters to President Obama on Wednesday, April 17. The letters tested positive for ricin, which is a highly toxic poison and naturally-occurring protein. According to NBC, the suspect has been identified as Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Miss.
Both of the letters, sent to both U.S. Sen. Wicker and Obama, were signed with an identical statement: “I am KC and I approve this message.”
A similar letter was also sent to a judge in Mississippi and is being further investigated to see whether it was sent by the same man and, if so, to see if it has also been contaminated. On Wednesday, April 17, it was concluded that there were some traces of ricin in the letter, but it was not clear whether it was harmful; therefore more tests were ordered. NBC said that Wicker had released a statement to the FBI, thanking them for their help and for the testing that they had conducted. Wicker also said in his statement that he was grateful for their help in keeping his family safe and for all of their decisive actions.
According to Fox News, several suspicious packages or envelopes have been found in many Capitol Hill buildings. Other senators have sent warnings of finding similar suspicious letters, but the field tests conducted for any suspicious poison or material have been returned negative.
These letters never reached the White House, but both letters tested positive for ricin and contained the same statement:“To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.” After much speculation, it has been determined that these letters have no connection with the bombings in Boston.
Last Thursday, Curtis finally appeared in federal court in Oxford, Miss., according to NY Daily News. He denied all accusations of sending the letters to Obama and Wicker. According to his ex-wife, several county officers and police who searched his house with warrant, Curtis is considered delusional. He was “out there,” according to many witnesses, but his ex-wife and several family members do not believe he is guilty.
Curtis’ attorney is putting together a statement and stands by the diagnosis of Curtis having bipolar disorder.
Curtis’s proven innocence now reopens the investigation into the letters. For now, it is unclear who is behind the crime.
Information from The Daily News, Fox News and NBC News was used in this article.