Crime lab can’t identify substance that sickened ISP staffer


FORT MADISON – Authorities haven’t nailed down what substance was allegedly applied to a staffer’s bottle of eye drops at the Iowa State Penitentiary Friday, April 5.

The staff member became extremely ill after coming into contact with an unknown substance that is believed to have come from the eye drops. The staffer was taken to Fort Madison Community Hospital and other staff was quickly quarantined, according to ISP officials.

The substance was contained and forwarded to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations’ Crime Lab in Ankeny

Cord Overton, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, said Tuesday, the techs at the crime lab were not able to detect any foreign substances.

“The lab tested the substance for a variety of well-known narcotic chemical elements, and none of the tests came back positive,” Overton said Tuesday afternoon.

He said the lab notified Iowa DOC officials on April 15 of the results.

Overton couldn’t speak to the type of tests the lab ran, but said they tested the substance thoroughly with no positive results.

The incident is still under investigation by the DOC officials.

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