Winona County authorities have a suspect in an incident involving a pipe bomb found in the trunk of a car in a Rochester Mayo Clinic parking garage on July 19th.
Sheriff Dave Brand said an investigation involving a 17 year old boy has been turned over to the county attorney's office for determination of formal charges against the youth. Authorities are seeking felony charges of possession of an explosive device against the youth whose name is being withheld because he has not been arrested and is not in custody.
Brand said the quarter inch thick, three foot long, bomb was discovered in the trunk of a vehicle in a St. Mary's Hospital parking ramp after the suspect's mother reported it to hospital security. The Bloomington Bomb Squad was called in and detonated the device at a different location.
Brand said evidence was found at a Utica residence that was searched after the incident. He said a piece of pipe bomb was found at the home where the suspect and his mother had formerly lived. They had since moved to another Winona County residence near Troy. Brand said the investigation determined the youth made the bomb at the Utica location.
Brand said this is not the first time dealing with the youth. He said neighbors in the Utica area had filed a complaint in February or March after they heard what they described as a loud explosion coming from the youth's former residence. The neighbors said that explosion rattled their homes and windows.
Brand said the mother was visiting her son at the Rochester hospital when she reported the 50 to 60 pound bomb to security. The report caused an evacuation of the parking area while the bomb was recovered. Brand said the pipe had been loaded with gunpowder and fireworks and had a fuse.