Chemical Explosive put in a DeSoto County mailbox - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Chemical Explosive put in a DeSoto County mailbox

By Lori Brown - bio | email

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - A homemade chemical bomb exploded in a north Mississippi family's mailbox over the weekend.

In addition to felony charges for manufacturing an explosive device, the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department says the perpetrator could face hate crime charges. That's because the targeted family is Hispanic.

Alicia Paez says chemicals from the explosion were all over her yard and the street.

The perpetrator took a two-liter soda bottle, poured a household chemical into it, added ball bearings, and another material to it. All that combined to create an explosion that could have turned deadly.

"We don't have any enemies," Paez said. "All my neighbors next neighbors, very peaceful."

The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department says the explosion blew the soda bottle across the street into another neighbor's yard.

Three-quarters of the road was covered in metal and ball bearings.

The Sheriff's Department says making an explosive device is no prank. It's a federal offense. that could kill someone.

"It could be a child going down the street on a bicycle, it could be anyone of us driving by the mailbox at the wrong time," Former Memphis Mayor turned Sheriff's Spokesperson, Dick Hackett said.

"It could blind you for life in both eyes, damage your face, frankly if you came close to it, it would kill you," Hackett said.

This is all that's left of the Paez's mailbox. They live in the Braybourne Subdivision just east of Olive Branch. The mailbox remains are now in the hands of investigators in Jackson Mississippi. Whoever made and placed the explosive faces serious charges.

In addition to hate crime charges, and felony charges for the bomb itself, postal inspectors are on the case, because the bomb was put in a mailbox.

If you can help investigators catch the people involved call (662) 429-TIPS.

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