Suspicious package at Leonardtown found to be harmless

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) -- A suspicious package at a McDonald's at Leonardtown Center on Wednesday morning was found to be harmless.

Deputies arrived at scene at 6:49 a.m. and saw that there was a duffle bag inside of the building. According to authorities, the building was then immediately evacuated and the shopping center was closed.

Deputies then proceeded to search for the person who left the duffle bag under the counter. Personnel from the State Fire Marshall's Office got to the scene at 7:47 a.m.

About an hour later, two witnesses reported hearing a bang and seeing a flash earlier Wednesday morning, coming from the Exxon gas station located across the street from the McDonald's.

The business and the areas around McDonald's were searched by bomb detecting K9's, however nothing was found.

A robot was deployed into the building at 8:57 a.m. and the duffle bag was removed by 9:39 a.m.

Shortly after, authorities said the person who left the duffle bag was found in Leonardtown near MedStar St. Mary's Hospital. According to detectives, the person worked at the McDonald's and put his duffle bag under the soda counter because he did not want to take it into the courthouse.

The State Fire Marshall's personnel x-rayed the bag before searching it and found no devices.

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said the northbound lanes of Rt 5 at Moakley St, Newtown Neck Rd at Bull Rd and Friendship School Rd at Maypole Rd were closed as the fire marshal completed a thorough search.

In the end, the fire marshal found nothing.

All the roads and the Leonardtown Center were re-opened by 10:30 a.m.


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