Police eye possible link in Idaho bottle bombs

KETCHUM, Idaho — Eight shrapnel-laced bottle bombs have been found in central Idaho in recent weeks and police were investigating a possible connection.

“Because of the similarity in all of the devices, I believe they’re linked,” Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey told the Idaho Mountain Express in a story on Wednesday.

No injuries have been reported due to the bombs.

Authorities said the devices were made of plastic containers filled with ingredients intended to create a chemical reaction and build up pressure until the container explodes.

One bomb consisting of three bottles taped together was found April 24 in a mailbox at a rural residence north of Hailey. Five other bottle bombs were found last week floating in a pond in the Elkhorn Village area of Sun Valley.

Authorities said one of the bottle bombs found taped to two others in the mailbox detonated ineffectively. A bomb squad from Twin Falls Police Department rendered the other two harmless.

“The one went off prematurely, but the others were swelling and had to be neutralized before we could touch them,” Ramsey said.

Of the five found floating in the pond, authorities said four had exploded and one malfunctioned.

Interim Sun Valley Police Chief Walt Femling said no motive has been determined.

Ramsey said the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is not assisting the investigation. He said his office and Sun Valley police were sending evidence to the Idaho State Police crime lab in Meridian.

Ramsey said whoever is making the bottle bombs “appears to be practicing to fine-tune their devices.”

“If they continue to perfect their devices, it will probably only make them more dangerous,” he said. “And my fear is that if they don’t stop they’re either going to injure themselves or someone else.”

He said filling the devices with shrapnel likely would increase any potential penalties if the maker is found.

“When you attach shrapnel to any device that’s designed to explode, you’re creating a potentially deadly weapon,” the sheriff said.

More in Local News

Mukilteo fire stations are the newest ‘Safe Places’ for youth

It’s among dozens of designated locations countywide organized by Cocoon House in Everett.

In Sultan, walkout was a missed class, leading to detention

Students without parental permission were marked truant and had to attend an “accountability workshop.”

Driver dies in apparent high-speed crash near Snohomish

A passerby found the severely damaged car off Chain Lake Road Saturday night.

County’s new voting system more ‘intuitive,’ election head says

Officials said the old system was secure, but had become harder to repair and update.

Man killed by Everett city bus had been knocked onto road

He was trying to get into the driver’s side when the woman behind the wheel drove off.

Pair now face federal charges in pot shop heist

They are being prosecuted on robbery, drugs and weapons violations.

Failing embankment on Marine Drive awaiting permanent fix

In the meantime, a 20 mph speed limit is in effect at the spot south of Norman Road.

Jim and Marcia Hashman during a visit to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe in 2014. Jim Hashman, who taught music at Mountlake Terrace High School in the 1980s and ’90s, died Jan. 31, after struggling with ALS for several years. (Herald file)
Despite ALS, he lived his life with joy and purpose

Former Mountlake Terrace High School music teacher Jim Hashman died Jan. 31.

Most Read