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Inslee’s office evacuated as bomb squad examines suitcase

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 23, 2017, 9:56 p.m.

The Washington State Patrol bomb squad and its canine unit were called to the Capitol Campus in Olympia after a woman left a suitcase in the governor’s office and ran out. The suitcase turned out not to have explosives in it. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)
The Washington State Patrol bomb squad and its canine unit were called to the Capitol Campus in Olympia after a woman left a suitcase in the governor’s office and ran out. The suitcase turned out not to have explosives in it. (Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review)

Gov. Jay Inslee’s office was evacuated for about an hour Monday afternoon after a woman left a small suitcase in the reception area, saying “This for the governor” before running out.

After the small green suitcase was cleared by the Washington State Patrol bomb squad and its explosive-sniffing dogs, it was removed from the office and employees were allowed to return. Inslee was not in the office when this occurred.

WSP spokesman Kyle Moore said that a bomb squad determined that the suitcase – which featured a one-eyed grinning monster – was filled with dry soup noodles.

The woman apparently also left a binder of some sort at the nearby Secretary of State’s office, then ran across to the nearby Temple of Justice Building, the home of the state Supreme Court. She left a computer tower there, Moore said.

She then drove her white Mercedes out of the parking lot between the domed Legislative Building and the Temple of Justice and was stopped by patrol officers in the nearby roundabout that contains the statute of Winged Victory, a monument to World War I veterans.

The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was being questioned by detectives, Moore said. She’s in her 30s, and a resident of Western Washington, although not Olympia or Thurston County.

Inslee’s office is on the first floor of the Legislative Building. David Postman, Inslee’s chief of staff, said the woman is not known to the governor’s staff.