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.
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