Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Edwardsville mayor, family spooked by package

May 12, 2004


— Mayor Stephanie Eickhoff and members of her family have been staying away from their home since a package she described as suspicious arrived in the mail late last month.

Police in Edwardsville, a Wyandotte County community of about 4,600, have been investigating with assistance from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Police Maj. Jeff Cheek said his department expected to finish its part of the investigation some time this week and turn information over to the Wyandotte County District Attorney's Office.

Cheek would not say anything about the nature of the investigation other than it involved a potential felony crime and that the mayor was the intended victim.

"We do have suspects," he said. "They are not in custody. They have not been charged."

Eickhoff, 35, was elected mayor in April 2003 after serving two years on the City Council. She is a former Wyandotte County deputy, and she and her husband, a lieutenant with the Sheriff's Department, have three children -- 14, 8 and 6.

The package arrived on April 26. Eickhoff said she and her family have been staying elsewhere ever since.

"I can't comment on what was inside, but it was something that caused me alarm," Eickhoff said. "I definitely felt like it was a threat on my life, my husband's life and my children's lives."

The schools her children attend were notified and have taken extra precautions, Eickhoff said.

Eickhoff hasn't worked as a sheriff's deputy since 1995 and said she doesn't think the suspicious package was in any way related to her former duties. "Whether it's related to the mayor's position is another story," she said.

However, she said that while there were always controversies in local government, she could not think of anything extraordinary during her year as mayor.

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