Bomb found at polling site

Friday, June 11, 2010 ~ Updated 12:05 PM

OSAGE -- A search of Carroll County polling sites took place Wednesday after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was found at the Osage Baptist Church where voters cast ballots Tuesday.

The device was a soda can containing electronics and suspected explosives that was found in the church foyer by a church secretary.

It was safely dismantled by a bomb squad.

The remnants of the bomb have been turned over to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who are investigating along with those from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Carroll County Sheriff's Office investigators.

It was initially thought the soda can device could have been left by a youthful prankster passing through the church on their way to church camp.

Investigators now suspect it was likely left in the church Tuesday when voting was taking place during the Preferential Primary run-off election.

Generally six poll workers are on duty at the Osage voting precinct for any given election. On Tuesday, 33 voters reportedly participated in the election process.

According to a press release from Carroll County Sheriff Bob Grudek, dispatch received a 911 call at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday from a church representative who reported a device had been found in the foyer. The caller said it was probably a prank, but it looked very professional.

When Deputy Doug McIntyre arrived, he was advised the device had been moved outside, away from the building.

After a closer inspection, he called investigators to the scene.

Responding were Investigator J.J. Reddick and Sgt. Daniel Klatt. They sent digital images of the device to the Bentonville Bomb Squad and evacuated and secured the immediate area.

When the bomb squad arrived, the device was X-rayed and found to contain electronic devices.

Once they examined it more closely, they classified it as an IED.

After confirmation, the county's prosecuting attorney and election commission chairman were notified.

With assistance from Berryville, Eureka Springs and Green Forest police departments, along with the Holiday Island Fire Department, "all of the other Carroll County voting facilities were either searched or a representative of the voting facility or church was notified of the situation," Grudek said in his press release. "No other suspected devices were found."

He said further investigation will follow by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

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