SALTILLO, Miss. – A Mississippi man whose home was searched in the investigation of poisoned letters sent to the president and others has apparently gone into hiding, but his attorney said he is cooperating and the FBI knows how to get in touch with him.

Everett Dutschke, 45, had his home and former business in Tupelo searched in connection with the letters, which allegedly contained ricin. They were sent last week to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and earlier to an 80-year-old Mississippi judge named Sadie Holland.

Charges were initially filed against a celebrity impersonator but then dropped. Attention then turned to Dutschke, who has ties to the former suspect and the judge and senator.

On Thursday, investigators looked through a different home about 20 miles away as a plane circled overhead.

A friend of Dutschke’s said that he and Dutschke stayed at the home for a while Wednesday before slipping out through the woods to rendezvous with someone who drove Dutschke elsewhere. He said Dutschke was just trying to escape the news media.