Woman who allegedly sent bombs to Obama, Texas governor, tracked down through matching cat hairs

Authorities apprehended a Texas woman who allegedly sent homemade bombs to former President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott when cat hairs found on a device matched a cat she owned.

According to The Guardian, legal documents filed in a Houston court this week laid out police’s case against Julia Poff, 46, who’s accused of sending the bombs in October 2016. Though none of the explosives detonated, authorities believe Abbott, who opened the package, was spared from “severe burns and death” because he didn’t open it “as intended.”

KHOU reported that Poff is also accused of sending a bomb to Carolyn Colvin, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. The Houston Chronicle noted that she allegedly sent the package to the Maryland office, where she was recently denied benefits.

The Sealy woman was supposedly upset with the Texas governor because “she had not received support from her ex-husband.”

She also said that she didn’t like Obama, who was president at the time, according to investigators. However, the package was confiscated during screening and never made it to the president, the newspaper reported.


The shoddy workmanship on the D.C.-bound package supposedly led to Poff’s arrest. Upon diverting the package, agents located cat hairs—which they determined to be “microscopically consistent” with one of the suspect’s pets, authorities reported. Agents also linked her to the crime by analyzing damaged shipping labels.

Authorities said Poff used a salad dressing cap from a bottle used for an anniversary dinner, volatile black powder, and pyrotechnic powder to craft the bomb she sent to Abbott.

Poff was indicted this month. A judge reportedly ruled against her release on Friday, deeming her a flight risk.

The 46-year-old is facing multiple charges, including mailing injurious articles and transporting explosives with the intent to kill and injure. She was also charged with more than $5,000 in food stamp fraud and false bankruptcy declaration.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for early next year.

[Featured Image: Julia Poff/Police handout]