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Second Mississippi Man Searched For Ricin Goes Into Hiding, Claims He's Not A Suspect

FORT DETRICK, Md. (WJZ) -- The ongoing search for the person who mailed deadly ricin letters to the president and Capitol Hill has led one man to go into hiding.

Alex DeMetrick reports his reasons might be easy to understand based on what's happened in the past in Maryland.

When the hazmat suits and FBI showed up at Everett Dutschke's Mississippi home, his response was straightforward:

"This is just crazy, this is just insane."

He was the second man in a week to be searched.

A letter containing the deadly poison ricin sent to President Obama and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker originally triggered the arrest of Paul Curtis, who was freed when no sign of ricin could be found.

"I would like to move on with my life and find out what normal is again," said Curtis.

That may be what Everett Dutschke is looking for. At first, he was open to the news media:

"My family knows I don't have anything to do with this. The people that actually know me know I have nothing to do with this," he said.

Dutschke has now gone into hiding to escape the media spotlight.

Using the mail to spread terror isn't new, and the search for suspects isn't easy. Remember the anthrax letters after Sept. 11?

"There is no evidence that I, the currently designated fall guy, have anything to do with the anthrax letters," said Steven Hatfill.

But for months, Fort Detrick scientist Steven Hatfill was labeled a person of interest. The FBI even alerted the media to searches of his home.

He was later cleared and a second Detrick scientist, Bruce Ivins, fell under suspicion, killed himself and was declared the anthrax mailer. It took seven years.

This time:

"There's an active investigation going on. So it's not only to keep us safe, but to hold those who would put us in harm accountable," said Sen. Ben Cardin.

Dutschke may be hiding from the media, but he does remain in touch with the FBI.

Everett Dutschke's lawyer says he's cooperating with the FBI and he has not been charged with anything.

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