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

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Visitors relax at the natural hot springs located within Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. (tofinohiking.com photo)
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park boardwalk project on track

“The walk down the two-kilometre boardwalk to the springs itself is by far one of the most incredible experiences.”

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino’s mayoralty candidates lay out key differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic oportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Most Read