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

NIC Practical Nursing instructor Barb McPherson (right) is pictured with student Rebecca Wood in 2018 in NIC’s SIM lab. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College to host practical nursing info session

10 seats are open in the Port Alberni region for practical nursing program

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP locate driver and vehicle, but are asking for video footage

Students from AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni write anti-bullying messages and draw colourful chalk art around their school for national anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY LISA ARBANAS)
Chalk art brightens public walkway on Pink Shirt Day

Students from AW Neill Elementary in Port Alberni write messages of hope

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
Nuu-chah-nulth cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar centre

An endangered Vancouver Island marmot suns itself on rocks at Mount Washington, near the Comox Valley. Learn more about this endangered species with the Alberni Valley Nature Club. (PHOTO COURTESY SANDY MCRUER, AV NATURE CLUB)
Marmots, underwater mysteries part of Alberni Valley Nature Club lineup

Club kicks off membership drive with series of Zoom chats

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Shiromali Krishnaraj arrives from India and receives a mandatory COVID-19 test at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. B.C.’s approved rapid tests also use a nasal swab, with a machine to scan for COVID-19 antibodies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s rapid COVID-19 tests have produced only two positive results

Tests deployed for exposures in schools, outbreaks in care homes, jails

BC Emergency Health Services confirmed that a call was received just before 10 a.m. Ground paramedics, as well as an air ambulance, are on the way to the area. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BREAKING: Helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

The Nanaimo bar display at the Nanaimo Museum. (City of Nanaimo Instagram)
City of Nanaimo points to correct recipe after New York Times botches batch of bars

City addresses ‘controversy’ around dessert square’s layers

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. First Nation demands transparency in probe into second fatal RCMP shooting

‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Comox Valley-raised Shay Sandiford has earned a spot on the Canada skateboard team. Facebook
Vancouver Islander selected to Canada’s first-ever national skateboard team

Courtenay’s Shay Sandiford has his eye on qualifying for this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo

Most Read