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Phony ‘anthrax’ letter prompts evacuation of DeKalb County Courthouse

Crime and public safety Decatur Metro ATL

Phony ‘anthrax’ letter prompts evacuation of DeKalb County Courthouse

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This story has been updated. 

A letter claiming to contain anthrax resulted in the evacuation of part of the DeKalb County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, June 25.

The county sheriff’s office said the letter was a hoax.

Here’s the full announcement from the Sheriff’s Office:

A suspicious letter delivered today by mail to an office inside the DeKalb County Courthouse in downtown Decatur poses no threat.

The letter, which was received in the Clerk of Superior Court’s office, contained a note claiming that the envelope also contained anthrax but there was nothing in the envelope except the note. According to protocol, the note was tested and found to be harmless.

In an abundance of caution, there was a limited evacuation of the courthouse from some areas and individuals who came in contact with the letter were temporarily quarantined inside the building. At this point, the sheriff’s office has no details on the origin of the letter and no one has been taken into custody by either participating law enforcement agency.

Witnesses said there were numerous police vehicles, fire trucks and helicopters in the area.

Lexi Martin said she was in the courthouse when she was ordered to evacuate.

“I was actually in the courthouse (getting my plat map) and the police came in the room and were screaming, ‘everyone needs to evacuate now, this is an emergency,” she said. “Many of them had medical masks on, too. It was, alarming to say the least.”

MARTA temporarily suspended train service at the Decatur station. Service has been restored.

Decatur Police reported via Facebook that several roads had been closed around the courthouse. Those roads have also reopened.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

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