Mortar case is deposited in a donation box at an area church


By Frank Lewis

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Just when you think you have heard it all, something bizarre occurs that makes you scratch your head and makes law enforcement officers try to figure out who and why something occurred. The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to find out who left a mortar case in the donation box at our Lady of Sorrows Church on Galena Pike in West Portsmouth.

According to the official report, two people notified Father David Young of their discovery, a case that was dark in color with white writing on the outside that identified it as a 81 millimeter mortar round case (canister) that weighed approximately five pounds. The case reportedly was closed and was placed in the carport. The two people reportedly brought the case to Young and he placed it by the door, then moved away from the door.

Deputy Kyle Porter who had responded to the call, notified Captain Robert Woodford of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office of the discovery and texted a photo of the object to him. Woodford then contacted the bomb squad in Columbus and they headed to Scioto County to deal with the case.

“They’re the ones who opened it up and x-rayed it,” Woodford said. “It had four fusees in it.”

A fusee is a colored flare used as a warning signal for trucks and railroad trains.

“We don’t have any video or know who put it in there or why,” Woodford said. “I don’t have any leads on it.”

Woodford said he kept the case to see if anything else develops in the case or he gets a lead.

“Eventually I’ll dispose of it otherwise,” Woodford said.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Sheriff’s office investigating

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