PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County officials investigated reports of three suspicious letters at synagogues Monday.
The first incident was at the Beth El School in Pikesville just after 1 p.m., where two people were also evaluated after they opened a suspicious letter and reported feeling sick after coming in contact with the letter.
Earlier reports indicated that the letter had been sent to the school, which is connected to the synagogue. Authorities later clarified that the letter was addressed to the synagogue itself.
In the second incident, just before 3 p.m. units responded to the Mesivta Ne’imus Hatorah – Beth Isaac Adath Israel Congregation in the 4300 block of Crest Heights for a suspicious package at another synagogue.
The third incident was reported just after 4 p.m. at the Har Sinai Congregation in the 2900 block of Walnut Avenue. There temple officials said they receievd the letter a week ago, but reported it to officials after the reports Monday at two other synagogues.
Fire officials said they have found no dangerous substances. Officials said the letters appear to be similar in nature and do not convey any type of threat.
It came from distribution center in north Texas, according to the envelope and it’s postmarked on December 11.
The contents of the letter—religious rhetoric—not unlike what you’d find in a pamphlet.
But nothing specific to the Jewish faith.
Authorities said through their sweep and testing they did not detect any specific substance on the letter.
As for the two adults that felt sick — they were evacuated, but as of this hour have not been taken to the hospital as they have been reportedly feeling better.
We also know that at one point there were 78 children at the school and 33 staff members.
“The children and staff have been sheltering in place,” said fire spokeswoman Elise Armacost. “I believe they’re dismissing now. We still have to patients that we have been evaluating neither of them is going to be transported. They’re feeling much better. Our fire department personnel remain on scene. We still have not detected anything significant, but we’re continuing to take a look using our meters and if that changes we’ll certainly let everyone know.”
There are still many more questions than answers in this ongoing investigation.
Update, hazmat at Beth El school, 2 adult patients are being evaluated by EMS for mild symptoms after they opened an envelope. No transport at this time …
— Baltimore County Fire Department (@BaltCoFire) December 17, 2018