Tombstone man found dead; pipe bomb in home, officials say - Tucson News Now

Tombstone man found dead; pipe bomb in home, officials say

(Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
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TOMBSTONE, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tombstone Marshal is investigating the death of man that led to the discovery of a large amount of explosives and ammunition in his home.

Tombstone Marshal Jeff Mitchell said that Dave Thomas was known to be hostile toward law enforcement.  But the amount of explosives and ammunition found here after he died was still a surprise.

"They took it out to the Tombstone Airport and destroyed it and it was a pretty good-sized explosion," Mitchell said.

A large pipe-bomb, five pounds of ammonium nitrate, blast caps, time fuse, and binary explosive were all found in Thomas's home.  Neighbors said that he lived in the house about three years.  But they had not seen him since Sunday.  They discovered a bad odor coming from his home Thursday afternoon and called the marshal.  Inside, deputies found Thomas's body.

"Laying on his bed, partially covered with a blanket and we really don't know.  There was a significant decomposition because of the time that had evolved.  So, we really couldn't tell. But, there didn't seem to be any evidence of foul play that was immediately apparent.  The autopsy will reveal more," Mitchell said.

A .22 rifle with homemade silencer and bullets shaved to points to allow them to pierce armor were also found.  Thomas, whom Mitchell said had been honorably discharged from the Army, was known to be confrontational with law enforcement.  But what if any plan he had to do with the explosives and ammunition remains unknown.

"This was not a pleasant situation but it could have been much worse, it kind of makes you step back and think a little bit," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that even a man who knew Thomas was surprised by what was found in the house.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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