Occupants of a Kingman RV park evacuated Thursday due to a bomb scare related to a deadly explosives blast in Panaca were allowed to return to their homes Friday night.
The Zuni Village RV park was cleared Thursday afternoon as a safety precaution as officials with multiple agencies worked together to process a motor home containing explosives.
The motor home with the explosives belonged to Glenn Jones, 59. Authorities believe he was killed in blasts that destroyed a vehicle and damaged a home Wednesday night in Panaca, located 165 miles northeast of Las Vegas near the Utah border.
“A total of 15 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were located, of varying sizes and designs. During the scene processing 10 of the IEDs were rendered safe in a vacant field just west of the RV park,” said deputy Kingman police chief Rusty Cooper. “The remaining 5, larger, IEDs have been removed and will be detonated at another location.”
Cooper said the motor home was towed away and will be secured as evidence for further investigation. He said the FBI will take over as the lead agency as the probe linked to Nevada continues.
Two large blasts, mere seconds apart, rocked the small farming town about 8 p.m. Wednesday, blowing debris up to a mile around the bombing site.
Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee compared the bombing to something one might see in an Iraq or Afghanistan war zone.
The magnititude of the Panaca blast and the volume of explosives found in Kingman raised questions about the design of the IEDs and how Jones learned to make such devices.
Town rumors suggested Jones may have served in the Army as an explosives expert, but officials had yet to confirm or deny that Saturday.
Lincoln County investigators on Friday said that the IEDs may have used black gunpowder or a gelatin-based explosive such as C4. But Lee said the best information about the devices would come from the Kingman investigation, where complete devices had been found.
The sheriff said he was looking into the possible military connection but had not yet received word from government officials.
Longtime resident and retired school teacher Richard Katschke remembered Jones as a military buff and an attentive nurse who cared for Katschke’s elderly mother until her death in August. But he said he never heard Jones talk about service in the military.
“I knew Glenn, but I don’t know much about his background,” he said. “He had a fascination with shells and all things military.”
Katschke said he remembered hearing that Jones used to decorate old bomb shells to sell at swap meets and at a military shop in Hawthorne, also home of the Hawthorne Army Depot.
Jones’ former neighbor, Dennis Sanders, told The Associated Press that Jones told the man he had served as an explosives and demolition expert during a stint in the Army. Sanders told The Associated Press he did not know how long Jones worked in the military or where he was posted.
Sanders described Jones as quiet and courteous but tormented while trying to lift himself out of deep depression.
Jones’ mother killed herself several years ago with a gun her son had purchased, Sanders said. He did not know how Jones’ wife had died but said she died before his mother.
“I wish he would have reached out to somebody,” Sanders said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Wesley Juhl at firstname.lastname@example.org and 702-383-0391. Find @WesJuhl on Twitter.
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