Grenades and Bomb-Making Chemicals Found Inside Heartland Home
February 22, 2003 at 4:11 AM CST - Updated June 20 at 11:37 AM
Grenades and Bomb-Making Chemicals Found Inside Heartland Home By: Kate Scott
(Murray, KY)--An unusual discovery inside a Heartland home has dropped somewhat of a bombshell on the folks who live nearby.
On Thursday night, police and bomb squads spent around fifteen hours digging up explosives inside a Murray, Kentucky home.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) is leading the investigation, but the Paducah bomb squad and Murray police were there to lend a hand.Officers not only found two active grenades, but also an inactive rocket launcher, a detonator, and 29 different hazardous chemicals.There was also a large stash of survivalist manuals inside the home, some dealing with bombs and booby traps.
The news is quite a shock to neighbors like John Luttrell, who lives in a nearby Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house.“I don't know what anybody would be doing with all those things in the house,” he tells Heartland News.“We live just across the street here. Hopefully, they wouldn't plan anything against their neighbors!It’s definitely scary.”
Paducah Police say some of the volatile chemicals found in the home include antimony sulfide, mercury metal, silver nitrate, and sulfuric acid.All can be used to make explosives.Paducah Bomb Technicians like Will Gilbert were able to use a special computer program called COBRA (Chemical and Biological Response Aide) to help handle the items safely.“If I type in sulfuric acid, we get a general description of the chemical,” Gilbert demonstrated to Heartland News.“We can also find out what it reacts with, what chemicals can be stored with what, and how we can safely separate them and dispose of them.”The bomb squad was able to safely destroy most of the hazardous chemicals, as well as secure the two active grenades.But Gilbert says there were several chemicals stored in unmarked bottles, which will have to be analyzed by an ATF lab, before they can be disposed of.
So the question remains: who owns the house and the dangerous materials that were being stored there?“It's sort of just an empty house over there,” observes Luttrell.“You never see anybody come or go.It’s one of those, 'They keep to themselves,' kinds of things.”
Police tell Heartland News that the owner was not home during their search.But they're not saying anything else about who lives in the house, or why he or she was stockpiling explosives. The ATF will continue it's federal investigation, but so far, no one has been arrested or charged with anything.