White powder found in a suspicious package Monday by Comox resident Tina Van Akker’s 13-year-old daughter. Facebook photo

Island mom warning others as suspicious powder found in mail

“I was very uneasy … it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

When Tina Van Akker’s 13-year-old daughter went to get the mail from their community box in Comox Monday, she never expected to be involved in a police investigation.

Upon returning to her home along with her sister, Van Akker’s daughter asked if the family knew anyone from Quebec, as indicated by the return address on the package.

When Van Akker said no, she saw her daughter was holding the contents of an opened package – a baggie with a white powdered substance along with a second baggie containing an orange flower charm.

“I took it from her and put it on a paper towel – it was pretty alarming. (Whoever sent it) knew our address and sent it specifically to my daughter. They even had the correct spelling of her name.”

Van Akker called the Comox Valley RCMP non-emergency line and while waiting for an officer to arrive, began searching online for the return address.

READ: Stolen mail recovered during Courtenay traffic stop

“We did some research and found out that the address was attached to a woman who was murdered in Quebec five years ago,” she explained.

She relayed the information to police, who indicated it would be best to throw out the envelope and its contents.

“I was very uneasy with that – it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

Van Akker decided rather than discard the package, she would take it to the Comox Valley RCMP station for testing.

“Because we didn’t know what it was, I wouldn’t want for it to end up in our landfill. I also want to know why the package was directed to a 13-year-old. Alarm bells just went off.”

She acknowledged the package could be a prank, but added someone specifically chose their address and name.

“Whoever it was has taken the time to do this. I wanted to bring it to the police because not knowing is a risk I’m not willing to take. I want to know (what the person) is doing and who sent this to my child.”

Van Akker has posted about the incident on her personal Facebook page along with photos of the package and white powder. As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been shared nearly 500 times.

Const. Monika Terragni, spokeswoman for the Comox Valley RCMP, confirmed police do have the substance at the detachment and will be analyzing it to determine what it is.

She couldn’t provide a timeline as to when the powder could be identified, as it depends on if it could be tested locally or would have to be sent away to another lab.

“In this case, we’re looking at what exactly the substance is to determine if there’s any sort of threat or any kind of danger.”

Terragni confirmed police are investigating the totality of what happened, including where the package came from, what was written on the envelope and its contents.



erin.haluschak@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

North Saanich submits ALR exclusion despite large opposition

Opposed North Saanich residents now shift their attention to ALC after 6-1 council vote

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read