Kevin Kelshaw reported to Historic City News today that investigators are attempting to locate the owner of a backpack that was discovered on the side of the road this morning — however, it’s doubtful anyone will claim it.
A Sunshine Bus driver was on her way to work at about 7:00 a.m. when, near her residence, she spotted an unattended backpack. She told deputies that it looked to her as if the backpack might have belonged to a student.
The bus driver inspected the contents of the bag to determine if she could locate any identification of the backpack’s owner. What the 59 year-old woman discovered startled her — she told deputies that the strong odor nearly knocked her down.
She did not find any identification, but she did find a jar that contained a piece of paper. When she opened the jar, she caught the smell immediately and was momentarily overcome.
Not knowing what she had found, she put the backpack in her vehicle and proceeded to her workplace; the Council on Aging Transportation Center located on Old Moultrie Road.
The initial responding deputy confirmed that the contents of the bag appeared to constitute a “mobile methamphetamine lab” so specialized assistance would be needed.
St. Johns County Fire Rescue and the Sheriff’s Methamphetamine Lab team members responded to the scene — seizing and securing the hazardous materials to be properly destroyed.
According to standard HAZ-MAT procedures, the two individuals who came into contact with the chemicals in the bag were decontaminated before being transported to Flagler Hospital for evaluation.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information concerning this crime is asked to contact the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at (904) 824-8304. You can remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer