Local News

Sunday, Dec 22 2013 06:57 PM

Man found dead in home; bomb scare in Bodfish defused

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A Kern County Sheriff's bomb squad robot was used at the home of Paul Morningstar on North Salaine Drive in Bodfish Dec. 21. The robot was needed because the home and yard had been booby-trapped. Morningstar, 66, was found dead in the home from an accidental shotgun wound.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Kern County Sheriff Senior Deputy and PIO Victor Keesey holds a press conference Sunday night in front of the home in Bodfish where the body of a man in his 60s was found Saturday by the Sheriff's department, along with two live bombs.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    The Kern County Sheriff's Office bomb squad used a robot Sunday at the Bodfish home of Paul Morningstar on North Salaine Drive after finding him there dead, along with two live bombs and an "expended" device. Morningstar was in his 60s.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    A view of the home on North Salaine Drive in Bodfish where the body of a man in his 60s was found Saturday by the Kern County Sheriff's Department after they were called to check on his welfare. By the end of Sunday, deputies also found two live bombs and a third they described as "expended."

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By CASEY CHRISTIE, Californian staff photographer

BODFISH — A county bomb squad Sunday finally cleared a booby trapped Bodfish home where a man was found dead along with at least two live bombs.

It began Friday night with a neighbor’s request to check on the man at 52 N. Salaine Drive who hadn’t been seen for several days.

It ended late Sunday afternoon after requiring not only the bomb squad but consultation from the FBI.

A sheriff’s spokesman said Sunday night there had been no public danger. He described the occupant as a white man in his 60s, but declined to provide more identification until the next of kin is contacted.

According to the spokesman, Victor Keesey, a senior deputy with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, deputies knocked on the two-bedroom, one-bath home’s door at 5 p.m. Friday, having been warned by a neighbor that the occupant may have booby trapped the property.

When they got no answer, deputies deployed robots to force entry into the 960-square-foot home. However, deputies left without making any contact with the occupant.

When they returned Saturday morning they found the occupant dead, along with a live bomb and one Keesey described as “expended.”

The man’s body was removed from the property at that time.

Deputies returned Sunday and found an additional live explosive device.

Keesey declined to provide details about the bombs, the occupant’s manner of death or where his body was found.

Although parts of North Salaine Drive were blocked during the operation, Keesey said there were no evacuations.

Deputies expect to return to the property Monday to complete their investigation.

— Californian staff writer Steve Levin contributed to this report.

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