Federal Authorities Continue Search In Tupelo

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 4/24/2013 8:49 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - A staging area served as ground zero for a search complete with hazmat suits on Wednesday in Tupelo.

Closing of this business-lined street rattled some who work here.
"It's been slow. We've been getting a lot of phone calls asking what's going on. People are getting mixed up thinking something is going on here and next door. It's just been a hectic day," said Michael Millian of Tupelo.         

While some found themselves with not much more to do than watch, others continued to do business as best as they could.

All the while, investigators with the FBI Evidence Response Team joined forces with others at the scene to conduct a thorough search of the former Taekwondo Plus operated by James Everett Dutschke.

His attorney Lori Nail Basham says the studio was closed up to three months ago following his indictment on three counts of fondling-elsewhere referred to as child molestation.

Basham says Dutschke has been cooperative with the search of his home. He maintains his innocence.

Meanwhile, Representative Steve Holland sees this latest twist in the investigation as somewhat surreal.

It was his mother who was sent a ricin-laced letter.

He does not speculate who sent the letter to his mother but what he does know is Dutschke was once his political opponent.
"Mom is probably stronger and more resolute coming out of this than she's ever been and that's the good news of it, but she also wants to just be mom and just be "Gran Gran" and just be judge-just be undertaker Sadie. That's what she really wants in her life and of course the FBI has got her somewhat sequestered in anything that she says and they are watching her closely and we appreciate that, but she's pretty fearless at this point and she's not scared and wants to move on with her life and that's what we'd like to have if we could," said Representative Holland.

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