Suspicious package closes Kennewick's post office

A suspicious package closed the Kennewick post office for more than three hours Thursday.

The item, later identified as a briefcase, was found at 8:43 a.m. leaning along a wall near a trash can inside the building at 525 S. Auburn St., said Mike Blatman, a Kennewick police spokesman.

When no one claimed the item, postal workers contacted police.

The building was evacuated and the Richland police bomb squad was called in to investigate.

The briefcase appeared to be associated with a post office box but the owner, who was not identified, was contacted by police and said he knew nothing about it, Blatman said.

Bomb squad technicians took an X-ray of the briefcase and found there was no threat inside -- just papers were found.

Officers were trying to track down the owner to find out why the briefcase was left in the lobby.