‘Suspicious substance’ found at Whittier College

WHITTIER – Police and the FBI are working to identify a “suspicious substance” found inside a Whittier College dorm room late Thursday, authorities said.
The material was discovered about 9 p.m. by campus security officers who were performing routine dorm checks, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said. No description of the substance was available.
Campus security officials collected the suspicious substance and notified Whittier police, Miller said.
“We had a hard time identifying it so we called the FBI,” Miller said.
Whittier police, FBI and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials remained at the campus, 13406 E. Philadelphia St., Friday morning trying to determine the nature of the substance, police said.
Investigators were also speaking with a “person of interest” — a resident of the dorm room where the substance was found — Friday morning, Miller said.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said it was too early in the investigation to describe the substance or discuss what it might be, “until we determine more, until they’re able to test it.”
“At this time, there are no immediate public safety concerns,” Eimiller said.
The substance was found in the Stauffer Residence Hall, a three-story freshman dorm at the west end of the campus. It houses about 185 students.
No evacuations were ordered, and classes were expected to continue as normal, Whittier College spokeswoman Ana Liliana Barraza said.
Students were notified of the situation via email and text message, she added.
FBI and campus police personnel escorted a young man, with a slight build and wearing glasses, back and forth from Ball Hall, adjacent to Stauffer Hall and the campus security trailer.
Officials would not confirm if he was the person of interest who was interviewed. Although not in handcuffs, campus police detained the young man in their facility, where they fed him, and then drove him from the area about noon.

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