TUSCOLA — The University of Illinois and Champaign police bomb squad was sent to Tuscola on Wednesday to safely remove and blow up two pieces of military ordnance discovered inside a home where a man had been discovered dead the day before.
Tuscola Police Chief Craig Hastings said he and another police officer went to a home in the 200 block of Sale Street early Tuesday afternoon after residents reported they had not seen a man who lived there for several days.
Hastings said the front door was locked, but he and the other officer were able to enter the home through a back door, where they found a man dead.
Douglas County Coroner Joe Victor said that Roger W. Warren, 70, of Tuscola was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Victor said Mr. Warren died from a heart attack and other complications due to diabetes. He said that Mr. Warren likely died sometime on Saturday.
No autopsy has been scheduled.
According to Victor, when he and his staff were going through the home on Wednesday in an effort to locate Mr. Warren's will or a safety deposit key to obtain the will, they found two pieces of what appeared to be live military ordnance in the home.
As a precaution, Victor called the University of Illinois and Champaign Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to Tuscola.
UI Police Capt. Skip Frost of the bomb squad said he received the call at 11:45 a.m.
Frost identified the items as an 8 mm shell that the squad believed still had explosives in it and a larger mortar round that was about 2 feet long and appeared to still be intact.
Frost said the bomb squad couldn't use a robot to get to the two items.
"This guy was a hoarder, and there were a lot of items in the house, so we were not able to utilize the robot," Frost said.
Frost said a bomb tech picked up the two items, which the bomb squad took to a rural area in Douglas County and safely blew up.
He said the bomb squad remained at the scene until about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday while people searched the home for any more items.