PLEASANT GROVE — When Pleasant Grove police on Tuesday went to the home of a man whom code enforcement had been trying to reach for months, they found him dead — and they believe he may have been deceased within the home for about a year.
"We haven't been able to contact him. He has property here, he has a piece of property in Provo and we've been trying to for over a year. And it appears to be that that was the case, that he was inside the house dead," said interim Pleasant Grove Police Chief Mike Roberts.
Police found the man's body during a "zoning investigation" near 100 N. Main, according to a statement on the department's Facebook page.
Police are investigating following the discovery of the body. Materials to make explosive devices and booby traps were also found within the home, forcing the evacuation of some surrounding homes and John Hancock Charter School, 125 N. 100 East. The area was later declared safe, according to police.
"Due to extenuating circumstances, including prior history and evidence at the scene, the EOD (bomb squad) team was called in to make the house secure," according to the statement. Police said a SWAT team had been called to the house in the past and the man had threatened to make booby traps before.
In addition to those grisly discoveries, police also found the skeleton of a dog chained up in the backyard.
Devrey Schiess, who is in 9th grade and previously attended the nearby school, said the home has been "the house that, like, all the little kids would have nightmares about."
"I had a nightmare about it one night, actually," she said. "I always thought it was abandoned because I never saw anyone go in or out."
Though officials say they believe the man's body is that of the homeowner, because it is decomposed, DNA tests will likely be used to confirm his identity.
The body remained undiscovered for so long because the man did not have close friends or family to request a welfare check, police said. The visit had been regarding issues with his yard.
Contributing: Pat Reavy