The FBI today began draining a municipal pond near Frederick, Md., north of Washington, D.C., in a search for evidence of the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks, the Associated Press reports.
Mayor Jennifer Dougherty said last month that FBI agents had discussed with city officials a plan to drain the spring-fed pond. It was among the first of about a dozen that divers searched in December and January.
The idea stems from an FBI theory reported last month by The Washington Post about how the person behind the attacks could have packed the deadly spores into envelopes without being infected or leaving traces in homes, buildings or on open land.
The Post reported that items recovered from one pond included a clear box, with holes that could accommodate gloves to protect the user during work. Also recovered were vials wrapped in plastic. For protection against airborne bacteria, a person could put envelopes and secured anthrax powder into the box, then wade into shallow water and submerge it to put the bacteria into the envelopes underwater, some involved in the case believe. Afterward, the envelopes could have been sealed inside plastic bags to be removed from the underwater chamber.