Crews Search for Ricin in MontCo Neighborhood

Investigators returned to a Montgomery County neighborhood Thursday to determine if a spurned lover put even more people's health in jeopardy by dumping ricin in a manhole.

Hazmat crews recovered a package from under the cover of a gas main shut off valve on South New Street, Hatboro -- near the Bybery Street apartment of 19-year-old Nicholas Todd Helman, who was arrested Wednesday on attempted murder charges.

"Late this afternoon we became aware of some information that the individual may have secreted some evidence into a gas main cover," said Hatboro police Chief James Gardner. "We believe we have located something of interest."

Investigators are working to identify the substance the package contains.

Even though officials emphasized there is no threat of imminent danger, residents were asked to stay in their homes while crews worked to recover the package. Authorities gave neighbors the okay to go outside around 6:15 p.m.

Police arrested Helman at his home Wednesday after he allegedly sent a scratch-and-sniff birthday card laced with ricin to a man dating his ex-girlfriend.

Officials searched the suspect's home for any traces of the substance Wednesday, but determined the scene was safe.

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