Deputies seek person who placed IED near Kzoo Co. lake

An improvised explosive device discovered near 12900 Jetson Drive in Climax Township on May 19, 2017. (Jerry Trumble)

CLIMAX TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Deputies in Kalamazoo County are still trying to figure out the who and why behind an improvised explosive device found at the public access to a lake near Climax.

The device was found last Friday by a woman, who lives near La Ferre Lake, walking her dog. She wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, so she put it on the garbage can outside her neighbor Jerry Trumble’s garage.

“I looked at it closer and I said ‘yeah, I’m going to call 911,’” Trumble told 24 Hour News 8.

The device was about the size of a soup can with what appears to be a wooden stand on one end and a wire, Trumble says, was about eight-feet long on the other. The wire was hooked up to a 9-volt battery inside the can.

Put the wires together, the battery sparks and the bomb goes off, at least in theory.

“It was full of BBs, gunpowder, somebody put gas in it and I think that’s probably what shorted the battery out so it wouldn’t work,” said Trumble.  “Probably would have went off if they hadn’t put gasoline in it. I think they were trying for a big fireball effect or something but it ruined it. Thank God.”

Trumble, who is an U.S. Air Force veteran with experience dealing with IEDs, says without the gas, the person setting it off could have been injured. But he doesn’t think the device was dangerous when the neighbor picked it up.

All that may help explain the what. As for the why, Trumble thinks somebody just wanted to make some noise and wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.

“No, I really don’t. I think somebody was just wanting to set off something,” said Trumble.

Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputies are still trying to find out who made the bomb and why.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office at 269.383.8723 or Silent Observer Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.