BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Testing on “suspicious flyers” found around Coursey Boulevard returned with negative results for any hazardous substances in field testing, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) on Tuesday.

However, the fire department said a sample taken by the FBI has been sent to a lab for additional testing.

Local and federal officials launched an investigation after an incident sent three Investar Bank employees to a local hospital as a precaution against possible exposure to an unknown substance. All three were later cleared and received negative test results.

The incident occurred Monday morning after the employees came in contact with flyers that were left in a night drop box, according to the fire department. The suspicious flyers were delivered to “at least” five other businesses, resulting in multiple businesses in the area evacuating around noon.

Photo by Baton Rouge Fire Department

Thomas Ruggles works near the bank. He told the FBI he found similar flyers close to his job. After reviewing the store’s security camera footage, he believes the vehicle and man pictured below may be responsible for the flyers.

Ruggles spoke with the FBI, but police have not confirmed if the man caught on camera is a suspect in the case.

“We were talking with our mail person… we see her every day and we kind of just wanted to give her a heads up because we were concerned she might be walking up to a building, come across one of these, and perhaps touch it and get hurt,” said Ruggles. “She said, ‘Matter of fact, we saw something look like that down the street.’ We wanted to look and didn’t want to just leave it there in case someone without knowledge touched it.”

The FBI took the lead in the investigation. FBI New Orleans provided the following statement:

“FBI New Orleans is aware of an ongoing incident in the vicinity of Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA, which we are working with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and other state and local partners. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activities that could represent a threat to public safety. For more information, please contact the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.” 

FBI New Orleans