NEW HARMONY — A man was found dead in a garage at a residence in New Harmony following reports of an explosion Saturday night, authorities said.
At approximately 8 p.m., dispatchers received a report of a traumatic injury at an address on the 400 North block of Harmony Drive (200 West). Deputies and medical personnel were dispatched to the scene where they found the body of 25-year-old Jordan Joseph Rinehart.
“The initial information provided by investigators on scene was the suspect possibly died as a result of an explosion which occurred in a garage of the residence,” according to a news release issued Saturday night by Lt. David Crouse of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
According to a second news release issued Sunday afternoon, investigators believe Rinehart died as a result of a homemade explosive device of his own making based on evidence at the scene and information gathered from interviewing an eyewitness.
“A man who witnessed the incident stated he and the victim had gone to the farm property to care for horses,” the release stated. “After completing their work, they waited at a secondary residence of the farm property to call for a ride back home. The witness told investigators he was asked to come to the garage area where his acquaintance was working. The individual told the witness he was making an explosive device. The witness had turned to walk away when the device detonated, killing the individual making it.”
Investigators said the witness was not injured in the incident and is cooperating with detectives in the ongoing investigation, which is being conducted by members of the Washington County Bomb Squad and detectives with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Also responding to the initial incident were deputies from Washington County Sheriff’s Office and personnel from New Harmony Fire Department / EMS and Gold Cross Ambulance.
Although the residence and an adjacent property were initially evacuated as a precaution, authorities say the area has since been checked and deemed safe.
“Members of the bomb squad were able to clear the residence, locating no additional explosive devices or further threats to the public,” Sunday’s news release stated.
Police say Rinehart had ties to the Southern Utah community in both Washington and Iron counties.
Updated Nov. 11, 12 p.m. to include the identity of the man who died in the explosion.
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