...It was during the second intermission at Saturday’s matinee of “Guillaume Tell” that a man was spotted sprinkling a white powdery substance into the Met’s orchestra pit, around the timpani and the conductor’s podium, before walking out. Musicians reported it, and, amid fears that the powder could have been a dangerous substance such as anthrax, the remainder of the opera was canceled so the police could investigate...As it turns out, someone was trying to honor a deceased friend and opera fan by scattering their cremated remains (emphasis mine):
...Investigators said that Mr. Kaiser told them that he tries to scatter the ashes discreetly so as not to cause alarm. He had walked out of the opera house gone to dinner, and hoped to return for the evening performance, the official said.
The police, in consultation with the Met, decided not to charge Mr. Kaiser with a crime.
As a precaution, the substance was sent to a lab for further testing to confirm that it was human remains...You can test to figure out whether or not cremated remains are human? Thanks to John Campbell on Twitter, I have discovered that there's a DNA test for cremated remains. I presume this is PCR-related? I'm a little skeptical for that DNA can survive cremation, but who knows?