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Utah Walmart evacuated due to suspected pipe bomb

Published March 28, 2014 2:00 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Heber City's Walmart was evacuated Tuesday while a bomb squad removed what appeared to be a pipe bomb found Friday with an escaped prison inmate who was hiding in the bathroom.

The inmate, 35, was removing asbestos with a Utah State Prison work crew at the old Wasatch High School when he disappeared about 11:15 a.m. on Friday, said Wasatch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Rigby. The crew supervisor reported to dispatchers that the inmate may be suicidal.

Deputies received a tip from a Walmart customer who said a man matching the inmate's description was asking shoppers for rides down Provo Canyon, Rigby said. Officers searched the store and found the man hiding in the bathroom; they also found with him a metal pipe with electric wires sticking out of it, Rigby said.

The inmate was taken into custody, the store was evacuated and a bomb squad from Utah County removed the device. Investigators attempted to X-ray the interior of the device but were unable to. Everything that could be viewed externally indicated it was explosive, so it was taken to a remote part of the county and destroyed, Rigby said.

The inmate has been returned to the Utah State Prison, Rigby said.

ealberty@sltrib.com

Twitter: @erinalberty