Suspicious package at Independence home revealed to be racist message

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A handful of homes were evacuated in an Independence neighborhood after a package with a racial slur ended up in a mailbox.

It happened in the neighborhood near East Linwood and South Arlington.

The bomb squad and FBI agents spent part of the afternoon there. They eventually determined the package wasn’t a physical threat.

The woman who received the package says they found a black Barbie doll inside.

“I flipped it over, and the first thing I saw was “n*****” and I read the other part that didn’t make any sense,” says Linda.

Linda said she went to check her mail a little before 11 a.m. and found the package.

“I thought it was stupid at first, and then when I got in there and called the police, I thought how my grand baby could have run and checked that mail,” Linda added.

Linda said she was on the phone long distance with her sister, and told her what she saw. Her sister told her to get away from the mailbox, get inside the house, and call 911.

“I don’t know anyone. I don’t live like that. I don’t know. Somebody is sick,” Linda said.

She’s renting the home, and said she’s only lived here one month, and she doesn’t know anyone yet.

Police said it had to have been dropped off.

“We called the postal inspectors office to confirm they didn’t deliver a package, and we made a decision to call out the bomb squad,” says Officer Luis Virgil, with Independence Police.

Police asked neighbors to stay in their homes for safety reasons, until they confirmed it wasn’t a threat.

“We’ll also be talking to neighbors to see if they saw anything, or if there’s a witness who saw who might have left this package in the mailbox,” Officer Virgil adds.

Linda said this is definitely a hate crime.

“My mom and dad were civil rights workers. Yeah, that’s what it is. It’s the coward way to do it,” Linda said.  “I’m not afraid. I’m going to trust God, but I’m not stupid either. I’m just going to be more watchful. I’m shook up about it. It’s a scary thing, especially when there’s a child in the house.

Linda said she’s not going anywhere.

In fact, she said she’d like to have a word with whoever left the package.

If you have any information on who might have left the package, call Independence police.

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