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Police Say White Powder Mailed To N.J. Hotels Was Cornstarch

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspicious white powder that was mailed to several New Jersey hotels near the site of Sunday's Super Bowl — but there were no reports of injuries and preliminary tests suggest the substance was cornstarch.

NPR's Margot Adler reports that the white powder was found in letters mailed to five New Jersey hotels. Another letter was sent to the Midtown Manhattan law office of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. A worker in the mailroom at Giuliani's office opened the letter.

John Cleary, a Carlstadt, N.J., police detective, says someone at an Econo Lodge in that city found the substance in an envelope, and similar mailings came to the Homestead Inn and the Renaissance Inn in Rutherford, N.J.

The Bergen Record quotes Rutherford Police Chief John Russo as saying "preliminary tests indicate the substance was cornstarch."

The New York Daily News reports:

"Hazardous materials teams were sent to the hotels in the late morning Friday, and tested the powder. It was not immediately clear how the suspicious powder was packaged in each case. No illnesses were initially reported. There were no arrests."

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.