The Iowa State University Police Department responded to a report of a suspicious item in Frederiksen Court Monday morning.
The report was received around 9:20 a.m., a press release from the university said.
Upon arrival, officers located the items— a suitcase and another case connected by wires— in the grass near the roadway by building 34 in Frederiksen Court.
ISU PD contacted the State Fire Marshal's Office for assistance in the response after determining that additional support and investigation was necessary.
Buildings 31, 33 and 34 were evacuated during the course of the investigation. Those buildings are mostly unoccupied for the summer due to renovations, but cleaning crews and other staff were in the area.
Other buildings in the area are housing students for the summer.
The Ames Fire Department and Mary Greeley Medical Center paramedics were also on scene for additional support if necessary.
The State Fire Marshal's Office determined there was no threat after examining the case. The items were secured by ISU PD and the scene was cleared at 12:28 p.m. Students received an alert at 12:31 p.m. giving the "all clear."
ISU PD Chief Michael Newton said that they don't have any information as to who put the bag there or why, but that they are looking into it.
"We'll continue to see if we can figure out, you know, who may have left it there," he said.
Newton added that once investigators were able to get into the case, all they found was a bunch of miscellaneous older items.
"It could be that someone left it laying behind and forgot it. It's really hard to say at this point," he said. "It almost looks like junk once you kind of dig into it."
From the outside, Newton said, it looked extremely suspicious and after conferring with the State Fire Marshal's Office, both parties agreed based on the report and description that it would be best to thoroughly examine it.
"We always err on the side of caution," he said. "You don't know. It very well could have just been discarded and left behind."