Suspicious package outside Iowa City City Hall found to be paperwork-filled backpack

A package left at the Iowa City Police Department in City Hall on Wednesday has been identified as a backpack filled with paperwork. According to the police, the person who left it said he was upset about mail fraud.

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Katie Goodale

Iowa City Police Department vehicles are seen on July 9, 2019.

Rachel Schilke, News Editor


The Iowa City Police Department has identified the suspicious package that was left near Gilbert and Washington Streets on Wednesday as a padlocked backpack containing a large amount of paperwork.

According to a release sent on Thursday, an adult man approached the Iowa City Police Department and placed the backpack in front of the building. He would not respond to the employee at the front desk and left, the release said.

Because of the suspicious nature of the situation, the release said City Hall was evacuated and the Johnson County Metro Bomb Squad was called in to investigate. After questioning by Iowa City Police, the man “stated he left the backpack at the police department’s front desk because he was upset about mail fraud,” according to the release.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa Department of Safety sent out two Hawk Alerts: one at 3:17 p.m. on Wednesday asking the UI community to steer clear of Gilbert and Washington Streets, and another at 5:30 p.m. announcing residents could resume normal activity. 

Upon investigation, the release said, the man who dropped off the backpack was located by police and when questioned, he stated left the backpack at the front desk because he was upset about mail fraud. 

The release said no criminal charges have been filed related to this incident. 

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