Police detonate explosives found in Ont. home
Published Saturday, July 14, 2012 4:33PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 15, 2012 5:49PM EDT
Police continued to scour a Barrie, Ont. home following a break in a 30-year-old cold case that led to the discovery of numerous explosive devices, chemicals and other dangerous materials.
A number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from the north-end home have been detonated. On Saturday, police used a robot to remove a suspicious package from the scene.
The devices were later detonated by police.
“It was determined today that there are some of the IEDs that police did not want to fiddle with here on the street,” CTV Barrie’s Heather Wright told CTV News Channel in an interview.
She said the police presence on Virgilwood Crescent was strong throughout the day.
“They’re continuing to comb through this house, which I’m told is just filled with IEDs, chemicals and other dangerous material,” Wright said, adding that some of the explosives discovered are more than 20 years old.
She said police are being “meticulous” in the process of removing the explosives and chemicals from the home.
“They don’t really know what they’re dealing with,” she said. “They don’t know how stable some of these explosives are.”
In the meantime, residents are waiting to return to their homes after having to evacuate the area on Thursday.
Police have yet to say when the residents of the 22 homes will be allowed to return, but they’ve said it likely won’t be until early next week.
“They don’t know what can happen with all these explosives in such a small area and they’re really trying to play it safe,” Wright said of police.
Sgt. Tim Conroy of Barrie Police Service told News Channel earlier Saturday that investigators are “taking it slow.”
“We just want to be pretty careful,” he said.
Numerous explosive devices and bottles of unknown chemicals were discovered inside and around the base of the home earlier this week. A bunker about seven feet deep was also found near the residence, and a second bunker is believed to have been built under the back deck.
Police also found several booby-traps outside the house.
Conroy said he doesn’t believe there is a direct connection between the explosives and the cold case. He said once the home has been cleared of any dangerous devices and materials, criminal investigators will begin searching the house to determine if there’s evidence that links the homeowners to the 30-year-old murder investigation of Michael Traynor.
The 26-year-old Barrie resident was reported missing by his family on Sept. 18, 1978. His body was found with obvious signs of trauma several weeks later.
OPP Insp. Martin Graham said Donald Feldhoff, 54, turned himself into police last Wednesday, July 11. He has been charged with first-degree murder and will appear in a Barrie court next week.
His father, 75-year-old William Feldhoff, has been charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and will also appear in court next week.
Traynor’s family found some comfort in the fact that suspects have finally been apprehended. However they are still searching for answers.
Gail Traynor, Michael’s sister-in-law, told CTV Barrie that she still can’t understand why someone would kill Michael.
“Why did they do this to him? He was a nice person,” she said.
Criminal charges related to the explosives and firearms are expected to be laid next week.
Along with Barrie police, the OPP and Ontario’s Centre for Forensic Sciences are also involved in the investigation.
“Many of the (neighbours) are surprised,” Conroy said of the discovery.
He added that residents have been understanding about the evacuation.
“They’d rather return when it’s safe than to go back when there’s doubt around the safety of their children.”
With a report form CTV’s Seamus O’Regan