BLAINE COUNTY, Idaho -- The Blaine County Sheriff's Office is warning the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity after a homemade bomb was found in a mailbox Wednesday afternoon.
Around 4:30 p.m., deputies were called to a home on Hyndeman View Drive, between Ketchum and Hailey, after a suspicious device was found in the already open mailbox by a caretaker.
"She told me there were three bottles taped up in her mailbox, stuff oozing out," neighbor Kate Mitchell said. "She didn't touch it, didn't want to touch it, so she got her binoculars, made sure what it was, called the sheriff, the sheriff came and looked at it."
Officers secured the scene and established a safe perimeter around the home. The Twin Falls Bomb Squad was called in to investigate and arrived on scene around 8 p.m.
East Fork Road was closed for about one hour while the bomb squad assessed the device and then neutralized it. We are told it was an improvised explosive device containing projectiles capable of increasing the destructive force of an explosion.
"Part of the bomb had projectiles in it, so if it would have exploded, it was intended to hurt someone, Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said.
No one was injured during this incident, as the bomb did not detonate.
The sheriff's office says the community should be aware of this incident and is asking anyone who sees suspicious items or activity to call 911 immediately. Anyone with tips on this incident can anonymously contact the sheriff's office by texting a message to TIP411 (847411).
Ramsey declined to discuss specifics about the bomb, but said someone would know if they saw one of these devices.
"It was not like a box from UPS. It was very obvious it was out of place. It shouldn't be there, so [the caretaker] contacted us," Ramsey said.
Ramsey did clarify the device was not like the bombs used in the Boston bombing.
"Without jeopardizing the investigation, we want the public to know that this was not a pressure style cooking device. This case is under investigation and will be a priority until the person or persons responsible are identified and apprehended," Ramsey said. "I would like to get to the bottom of it and find out if we really have something where people's actually trying to hurt someone, or what this just a spur of the moment kind of thing?"
The sheriff does not believe anyone was being specifically targeted and believes someone was likely just trying to send some type of message or create fear. There have not been any other bombs found in the county in recent times.
Neighbors say they are shocked about this happening in Hailey and want the people responsible caught.
"It worries us as neighbors around here that I don't know who's doing it, if it's kids. I don't know. It's kind of scary," Mitchell said. "It's a stupid, stupid prank, and if they're looking for recognition, they're not going to get it. It's worthless. They don't understand the consequences."
The Blaine County Sheriff's Office has reached out to federal authorities for assistance in this investigation.