(08/10/2005)

Half way up Dundon Hill near the Town of Clay is a left turn, 300 yards down this primitive road is a dump site marked with police tape, likely used to detonate explosives (Clay Communicator Photo)

By Bob Weaver

It has been 72 tense hours in the Town of Clay, following a number of explosions that rocked the community Sunday.

Federal warrants have reportedly been issued, indicating subjects linked to the incident are known or are in custody. Arrests appear to be pending late Tuesday night.

There are indications the initial blast at Eagle Point was not intentional, suggesting at least two other blasts were done by officials detonating bombs.

Eagle Point is a bottom area across the Elk River above Dundon Bridge at the upper end of the Town of Clay. The area, accessed by a primitive road, has a house or two and some fishing cabins.

A driver of a vehicle on Rt. 16 reported his vehicle was pelted by objects when the first explosion happened.

Residents have suggested the blasts have been caused from meth lab explosions to actual bombs being detonated, some saying the incident could be related to bringing harm to Sheriff Randy Holcomb.

Holcomb, who is developing a "walking tall" image, has been raging war on crime in the county.

Sheriff Holcomb, after virtually no information was made available, issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying that public information might impede or jeopardize the investigation, expressing concern for public safety.

"We are withholding all comments until the investigation is complete. Arrests are pending. After the arrests are made we will make a full public statement to all the press," said Holcomb.

The Clay Communicator is reporting the eyewitness account of long-time prosecutor Jeff Davis.

Davis is quoted as saying he was sitting in the porch swing of his riverfront house, his wife in their kitchen, when the first blast went off.

He reportedly said the first blast was not just one blast but rather four blasts.

Davis nearly jumped out of the porch swing while his wife Kim said the windows rattled violently. Davis said the percussion was strong.

Looking in the direction of the blast, he reported a powder white cloud billowing up, followed by gray smoke. A call was made to 911 and the Clay VFD responded.

The Clay Sheriff's Department took a statement from Davis, who witnessed a pick-up truck "tires squalling, fleeing from the area."

A Tobacco and Firearms team checked an old camper manufacturing company building at Maysel for materials that could have been used in a bomb.

The feds were reportedly looking for specific types of dry wall screws and one inch diameter and bigger nuts and bolts.

Numerous trucks, panel vehicles and special units have been in the area with investigative personnel.


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