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

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

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Stz’uminus artist Luke Marston designs new mask for Canucks goalie

The mask features artwork inspired by the Coast Salish legend of the sea wolf

Scott Saywell, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent and CEO, has seen his contract renewed for four years, the district announced Wednesday. (SD68 YouTube screenshot)
Ladysmith school district renews superintendent’s contract for four years

‘Singing superintendent’ Scott Saywell under contract through 2024-25 school year

Emergency services were on scene at 1st Avenue and Warren Street after a skateboarder was struck by a vehicle. (Submitted photo)
Skateboarder ‘bumped’ by vehicle on 1st Avenue

Emergency services personnel say the skateboarder is uninjured

Parents Robin Ringer and Wyatt Gilmore with the No. 1 baby of 2021 in the Cowichan Valley. They have yet to decide on a name for her. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus couple excited about having the New Year’s baby for the Cowichan Valley

Recent arrivals from Fort Nelson celebrate their girl coming into the world on Jan. 7

Regional District of Nanaimo’s transit select committee is expected to vote on a recommendation that could see busing between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley. (News Bulletin file)
Regional District of Nanaimo staff recommending bus route to Cowichan Valley

More than 1,900 survey respondents expressed support for inter-regional transit, notes RDN report

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read