TORONTO (AP) — A 42-year-old man was arrested at an Ottawa hotel Wednesday following an overnight investigation linked to the discovery of what police said were dangerous chemicals 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) away in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia.
The type and extent of the chemicals were not immediately disclosed. But authorities considered them serious enough to evacuate two Halifax neighborhoods and the Ottawa hotel, and the suspect was arrested after negotiations with police, said Ottawa Const. Chuck Benoit. Police later said no hazardous materials were found in Ottawa.
A senior government official said the suspect is a chemist with no known criminal record. The man's current wife notified police because of her concern about his irregular behavior and his travel to Ottawa, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Police declined to release the man's name. However, the business manager of former U.S. Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller said police called Miller to let her know that the suspect was her ex-husband, Christopher B. Phillips. The couple divorced in 2006 after seven years of marriage.
"I'm thankful that the brave men and women of the Ottawa police department and other law enforcement agencies were able to apprehend him and (defuse) the situation without incident," Miller said in a statement released by her manager, Nick Furris.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police were alerted to a suspicious package by a concerned citizen in Halifax, eventually leading to the evacuation of homes Tuesday morning. The package was determined to contain hazardous materials but not explosives, the RCMP said. Five homes elsewhere in Halifax were also evacuated as police found hazardous and volatile materials there as well.
Late Tuesday night, Ottawa police went to the Chimo hotel along with tactical and hazardous material teams. Guests were sent to other hotels.
Benoit said police made contact with the suspect early Wednesday morning.
"The negotiation went on and the individual exited the unit where he was staying on the sixth floor, and an arrest was made without incident," Benoit said.
The suspect has not yet been charged with a crime.