80 bombs, 29 guns found in small-town home

2012-07-19 08:06


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Ottawa - Canadian police searched on Wednesday through a backyard bunker in Ontario province after uncovering 80 bombs, along with booby traps and guns at a home linked to two men recently arrested over a 1978 murder.

Police explosives specialists in protective gear, bomb disposal robots and forensic scientists brought in to analyse various chemicals found in the house on a quiet street in the town of Barrie, about 90km north of Toronto, wrapped up a weeklong search of the residence on Tuesday night.

They were also dismantling the weapons.

"We're still searching" for more explosives, Constable Angela Butler said.

Butler said investigators have begun carefully searching for more bombs in a two-by-three-metre cement bunker, stocked "for survival" with food and water, in the backyard about 2m beneath a stone patio.

"Officers are in the most intensive area now," she said.

Father charged

A suspect in a 1978 cold case murder who turned himself in to police on 11 July triggered the search of the house and the evacuation of 57 residents from 22 homes in the neighbourhood.

The body of the murder victim Michael Traynor was discovered in October 1978 in bushes off a main rural roadway, one month after his disappearance when he was 26 years old.

Suspect Donald Feldhoff, aged 54, appeared briefly in court on Wednesday and is expected to return on 31 July. He had informed police about the stash of explosives and guns, said Butler.

"There's no indication why the suspect amassed so many bomb materials," she said, adding: "It's now before the court."

His father, William Feldhoff, aged 75, has also been charged with accessory after the fact in the murder.

Since the pair's arrest last week, police have uncovered "lots of wiring around the house, and devices connected to the wiring that you could describe as booby traps", Butler said.

Bigger bombs taken away

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police bomb squad was called in to help dispose of the explosives. Officers in heavy protective gear painstakingly removed materials from the house and robots detonated explosives behind stacks of sandbags.

Some of the bigger bombs were taken away in a "containment vessel" to be safely exploded elsewhere, Butler commented.

A total of 29 handguns, shotguns and rifles, including a civilian model of an MP5 military submachine gun, were seized from the house and bunker.

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