Corinth residents 'shocked' by ricin letter suspect - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Corinth residents 'shocked' by ricin letter suspect

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Paul Kevin Curtis Paul Kevin Curtis
Disbelief is what neighbor Lacey Ross felt when she heard the news by police who were parked outside a North Mississippi apartment. Disbelief is what neighbor Lacey Ross felt when she heard the news by police who were parked outside a North Mississippi apartment.
Paul Kevin Curtis' apartment Paul Kevin Curtis' apartment
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CORINTH, MS -

(WMC-TV) - The Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with ricin to the President and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker maintains he is innocent, according to his attorney. But, Paul Kevin Curtis' neighbors are still shocked to see crime tape in their neighborhood.

Disbelief is what neighbor Lacey Ross felt when she heard the news by police who were parked outside a North Mississippi apartment.

"I had to explain to my 7-year-old this morning what it was," said Ross.

She learned Thursday morning that Curtis, who she had met once before, is facing two charges related to threatening the president and mailing letters that contained ricin. FBI Lab tests confirmed the presence of ricin in the letters Thursday morning.

"There's been all sorts of people, but he was one of the last people I'd ever expect to do something like this. Always kept to himself, real sweet acting," said Ross.

Neighbor Kayla Latch has never met Curtis but said he was quite, just like the community.

"I've seen him out moving his lawn, burning fire in his pit of whatever," she said.

Many residents are asking questions, and waiting for answers as police continue to guard the scene.

Neighbors said he has not lived at the apartments long. They remember seeing him move in back in November or December.

Curtis was well known as an Elvis impersonator, but not necessarily in the town of Corinth. He was known for singing at various events, even one event that Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker attended.

Wicker was quoted telling reporters Curtis "was very entertaining" during the performance.

In a strange twist to the story, reports said the Elvis impersonator previously stated that he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market.

Manager of the local talk radio station said he was shocked to hear investigators were looking for someone in town.

"We were greatly surprised," said Super Talk Mississippi host Jimmy Anderson who has been in radio since 1967.

Most town residents are not happy about the sudden national spotlight.

"We take a lot of pride in the city," said Anderson.

Kevin Curtis' brother Jack Curtis released this statement on behalf of his family members.

It says in part, "Our family is distraught to learn of the claims being made that my brother, Kevin Curtis, sent poison to public officials... We are, however, far too familiar with Kevin's lengthy history of mental illness...We also pray that this situation might create something good by bringing to the public's attention the lack of any way to provide meaningful medical treatment to those persons like Kevin."

Click here to read the statement in full.

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