Cottonwood Heights family found live mortar round inside box of World War II relics

Live mortar shell found in Cottonwood Heights neighborhood, police block area (Photo: Jeremy Harris / KUTV)

(KUTV) – A bomb squad from Hill Air Force Base safely removed what police believed was a live mortar round outside a home in Cottonwood Heights Monday afternoon.

Offices responded to the home near 2400 East Cardinal Way around 2 p.m. after a family called police asking how to get rid of the mortar round.

The family told officers they discovered the explosive inside a box of WWII relics they recently obtained from an estate sale.

Police evacuated the neighbors and waited for a bomb squad.

“I wondered what in the world would anybody be bringing a mortar round from the service, I’m a vet and you just don’t do that,” evacuated neighbor Don Jensen told 2News.

The squad from Hill Air Force Base arrived around 4 p.m. and took about 20 minutes to secure the round and leave the scene. Police left shortly after.

“We’ve never had this before, hope not to have it again,” Jensen said.

It is illegal to have an explosive round without following strict safety protocols, but Cottonwood Heights Police believe no crime was committed because the round has likely been undiscovered for nearly a century. Investigators said they are continuing to look into exactly where the round came from and where it has been.

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