Federal investigators are involved in the mystery surrounding what police said was a live improvised grenade found Friday in Salisbury. It prompted authorities to call in a bomb squad and evacuate several homes.
Salisbury Police and Fire responded around 1:57 p.m. Friday to 322 S. Church St. after a man said he found a device that looked like a grenade in a container.
Carlos Ortiz had bought a 2-foot by 2-foot container from Foils Inc. LLC at 1039 Klumac Road in Salisbury on Thursday. They told him they had not had the chance to open it.
When Ortiz pried it open Friday, he said he uncovered a small box with a radar gun wrapped in wires.
"Under there, that's where the grenade was," Ortiz said. "It had a fuse coming out of it. It didn't even have a pin or anything like that."
He thought quickly and carefully shut the box, then ran inside to call 911. Police said the device was a live improvised grenade. Police did evacuate some of the nearby apartments and homes.
Carol Palmer said she got the call while she was still at work, shocked by the news right behind her home.
"Especially when they said they were going to dig a hole and try to detonate it in the yard," Palmer said.
The bomb squad used a robot to move it to the backyard and detonate it.
"What I've watched on television, I just knew it was something that I didn't want to be messing around with," Ortiz said.
The Salisbury Police Department said its Criminal Investigation Division will work with the ATF to figure out where the container and the bomb came from.
Anyone having information on this case is asked to call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.