Owner of suitcase found; no charges likely
DANVILLE — Police tracked down the owner of a suitcase that was discovered Wednesday morning outside The News-Gazette's downtown Danville office and caused the evacuation of several businesses while the University of Illinois bomb squad investigated.
On Thursday, Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said police went through the contents, which mostly included clothing, and found some identifying information that led them to the owner, a woman whose name is not being released.
He said the woman was in the downtown area to visit a nearby social service agency and left the suitcase in front of the N-G office "for safekeeping" rather than carrying it around with her. He said officers talked with her, and she will be coming to the police department to claim the property. He said nothing about the situation warrants consideration of any charges.
About 11 a.m. Wednesday, N-G staff noticed the black suitcase tucked behind a yellow newspaper rack that sits next to the front entrance of the building at 137 N. Walnut St.
In response, Danville police evacuated a one-block area and halted vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Walnut Street while the UI bomb squad used a remote-control device to test the suspicious package and determine it contained nothing that posed a danger.
Danville police were then able to safely open the suitcase that, upon initial inspection, contained children's clothing. Police cleared the area shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday.