UPDATE: Police have determined that explosives were not present at the home, but instead ammunition. There is no longer believed to be a present danger to the community. The contents of a box in the home were investigated following a call to police by a resident of the home, presumably the mother of the murder victim from last week.
PALM COAST, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday responded to the same house at 20 Blare Drive that last week was the setting of a murder – this time for a suspected explosive. Investigators discovered what they suspect may be ‘munitions’ during their examination of the house. Police evacuated the nearby homes, closed down the street around the house, and called in the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad.
As of Wednesday afternoon little is known about the circumstances of the suspected explosive. The FCSO confirmed after 5:00 pm that the items in question are potential grenades, and Commander Michael Lutz commented that assessments are underway to determine if it’s authentic.
On the frequency of residential homes being evacuated for this kind of threat, Commander Lutz said that it’s “not very often, but a lot of that’s done for caution.” The Sheriff’s Office stated on multiple occasions Wednesday that much of the large police response is precautionary. “In case they’re real and it does explode, we just want to make sure that everybody that’s close to the scene will be safe.”
85-year-old Charles Kidd, the homeowner, was arrested last week for the second degree murder of 36-year-old Mark Ruschmeier, his cohabitant. Ruschmeier’s mother, who also lived with the pair, described hearing a gunshot, the pained groan of her son, and then another gunshot. Ruschmeier was found with one of the bullet wounds to his head, and Kidd called 911 after the incident to reportedly confess his actions. Rumors have taken hold that he may be suffering from dementia, with some claims coming from those who say they’re relatives.
Kidd has no prior criminal history in Flagler County, and the FCSO has not tied the suspected munition to his name beyond confirming it was found in his house. He’s still held at the county jail as of Wednesday afternoon (Kidd was understandably denied bond), but so far no additional charges have been issued since his second degree murder charge.