Body, Skeleton of Dog, Explosive Making Materials Uncovered in Pleasant Grove Home
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – People looking to acquire an old house entered and discovered a body Tuesday that may have been there for as long as a year, police said, as well as what initially appeared to be explosive devices.
Interim Pleasant Grove Police Chief Mike Roberts said no actual explosives were ultimately uncovered at the home, located at 45 East and 100 North, but officers evacuated the John Hancock Charter School next door until the area was cleared.
The interim chief characterized what was found as materials used in the process of constructing improvised explosive devices and booby traps.
Roberts said police believed the body was that of the owner of the house, but said confirmation would likely have to come through DNA testing due to decomposition.
It was unclear how the man died or when exactly, but police said it could have been as long ago as one year, when zoning enforcement workers began looking for him as part of an investigation.
They had not been able to find him prior to Tuesday, Roberts said.
In addition to the discoveries inside the house, Roberts said the skeleton of a dog was found in the backyard still chained to a grate.
“Like, how did the neighbors not notice there was a dead dog!” exclaimed Devrey Schiess, a ninth-grader who lives nearby and used to walk past the old house regularly.
Schiess said discoveries of the remains and explosive device materials were “shocking.”
“I never would have suspected that something like that would happen,” she said.
Roberts said no welfare checks had been requested for the owner of the house, and it was not believed he had any close relatives or friends, allowing his body to remain unnoticed at the house for an extended period of time.
Investigators said the owner of the home had previous contacts with police, including an occasion when SWAT team members were called to the house.
The man, Roberts said, had made previous threats about the use of booby traps.
“We haven’t had any contact with him for a year, but we don’t know anyone who has,” Roberts said. “It’s just one of those things that doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.”