Hazmat crews have cleared the scene at East Main Street in Newark after a report of a suspicious package Tuesday.
According to Newark police, at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday officers received a call about a suspicious package at 336 E. Main Street in Newark. Police said a threatening letter with a powdery substance was received at Heartbeats, a pregnancy assistance clinic.
A Hazmat crew was called to the scene to investigate and after initial tests determined the powder not to be hazardous.
It was a relief to people like Jennifer McCoy, whose mother volunteers at Heartbeats.
“My mom, she volunteers here once a week. She has been volunteering for six years. She counsels people and she’s a real good person,” said McCoy.
The substance is being tested at a state crime lab, even as preliminary tests came back negative. Newark PD and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are trying to determine who sent the letter and substance to heartbeats.
The clinic released the following statement on the incident:
This morning, Heartbeats, a local affiliate of Heartbeat International, received a suspicious letter at our Newark location. We took immediate precautions to ensure our staff and volunteers could continue to serve our clients in a safe, compassionate environment. Our Centers provide services to more than 6,000 men, women, teens, and babies in our communities every year. Our services include pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, childbirth preparation and parenting classes, as well as healthy relationship education for teens. All services are free and confidential. We are thankful to be serving in a community that makes this possible.
Every woman deserves love and support during her pregnancy. With this threat behind us, Heartbeats is looking forward to advancing our life-affirming services in Licking County and the Muskingum Valley. Our Centers will resume normal hours this week. A 24-hour HelpLine is always available at 1-800-712-HELP.
We appreciate the outpouring of concern. The incident is under investigation by local authorities. We appreciate the immediate and thorough response of the Newark Police and Fire Departments, along with the Emergency Medical Services Authorities.