NEW HARMONY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Police have identified the 25-year-old man killed in an explosion in New Harmony as Jordan Joseph Rinehart.
According to a press release issued by Washington County Sheriff Office, Rinehart, a resident of Iron County, was at a house near 400 North and Harmony Drive working in the garage area, making an explosive device.
On-scene investigators say a witness told them he and Rinehart were on the farm property to care for a few horses and had called for a ride home. That witnessed learned Rinehart was making a homemade bomb in the garage.
“They went to the victim, and the victim said, “I’m making this explosive device,'” Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse said. “He turned to walk away, and that’s when it detonated. There was really no time from the time that he was made aware of the device to reach out to anybody.”
Crouse said the explosion was contained to the garage, and the witness, just five feet away, was unharmed. Emergency crews evacuated the neighborhood rocked by the explosion for a brief time while members of the bomb squad ensured the area was safe, determining there were no other explosive devices in the area.
“No matter what your experience level is, doing something like that puts you and everyone around you at risk,” Crouse said. “We don’t know what the outcome would be, especially in a residential neighborhood.”
“The State of Utah has pushed that if you see something, say something,” Washington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Nate Brooksby said. “You never know what chemicals go into homemade devices and you never know what’s going to set it off.”
Charging documents show Rinehart did have a criminal history inn Utah, but officials say this situation was “out of character.”
Sheriff’s deputies added that there is no evidence at this point in the investigation to indicate that anyone was a target for the device.
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