Athens homeowner says FBI search due to son's attempt to make ricin

Published: Sep. 26, 2016 at 7:30 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2016 at 7:23 PM CDT
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ATHENS, TX (KLTV) - An Athens homeowner, whose house was searched by FBI agents over the weekend, confirms the search was prompted because his son was attempting to make a hazardous chemical agent.

Richard Fulton confirmed Monday that the presence of the FBI was the result of his son attempting to make ricin.

Sunday, Fulton told KLTV that his son had made a terrible mistake.

Officials with the FBI have not confirmed the nature of the investigation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, ricin invades the cells of a person's body and prevents those cells from making needed proteins, causing the cells to die. The CDC says that eventually, the condition could lead to death.

READ MORE: Residents eager to know what happened after FBI and police searched nearby home

RELATED: FBI assisting investigation in Athens


ATHENS, TX (KLTV) - Residents in one East Texas neighborhood are trying to figure out what happened after police and FBI agents searched a nearby home Saturday night.

Dallas FBI and Athens police searched a home on the 200 block of Guadalupe Drive Saturday night, following reports of potentially hazardous materials there.

Officials have not released further details on the investigation, but residents are eager to know what was going on.

The street was much quieter Sunday, one day after about 30 police officers and FBI Agents spent hours searching a home on that street, investigating potentially hazardous materials

"It's a little concerning when you see people in hazmat suits on your street," Meredith Mahan said.

"By the time they left I think they had at least one of the trailers almost completely full it looked like to me that it was pretty packed full of things from inside the home," she added.

Richard Hawkins lives right next door to the home that was searched.

"As soon as they would leave the house it appeared that they were spraying them off or washing them off or doing something. And so it was even a little bit stranger to us that they were being so concerned with whatever they were looking for or pulling out of the house," Hawkins said.  

Officials have not said what the hazardous material was or what was going on inside the home. The Athens Police Department said the information they received on this matter was passed onto the FBI who initiated the investigation.

Read More: FBI assisting investigation in Athens

It was something many in this neighborhood said they never would have expected.

"It was a complete shock, because this is a nice neighborhood and you just don't see things like this. We have young daughters that live here and we feel safe out in the yard and everything else," Hawkins explained.

The police tape was removed from the home on Sunday, and people were going freely into and out of the home in the afternoon.

We did speak with the homeowner of the residence that was searched. He told us that his son had made a terrible mistake but would not go into more detail.

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