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Local

Mailbox explosion damages home in Morrison

No injuries; police investigate

This photo from Christina Wetzell's Facebook page shows the extent of the damage to her family's home 
after an explosive device was set off inside a mailbox.
This photo from Christina Wetzell's Facebook page shows the extent of the damage to her family's home after an explosive device was set off inside a mailbox.

MORRISON – A Morrison woman is “counting her blessings” after some sort of device exploded in her porch mailbox in the middle of the night, damaging her home inside and out, but causing no injuries.

The explosion happened around 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 600 block of West Lincolnway, at the home of Christina and Byron Wetzell and their four children. They heard the blast, but didn’t realize what it was until they found the damage around 5:30 a.m.

The explosion damaged siding, a shutter, a railing and an awning outside the home, and even caused plaster to fall off the walls inside, Wetzell said.

Police Chief Brian Melton said his department is working with Illinois State Police, the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department and the Postal Service to find whoever is responsible.

Mailbox vandalism is common in Whiteside County, but it usually involves mailboxes being hit or knocked down, Sgt. Kevin Soenksen said, citing such an incident east of Morrison recently. He does not believe it is related to this explosion.

Others, however, told Wetzell that two other mailbox vandalisms may have taken place near Morrison that same night, she said.

“I think that I’m really counting my blessings, considering all the things that could have been so much worse,” Wetzell said, adding that investigators were surprised the explosion didn’t start a fire.

She also said she is amazed by the overwhelming amount of support the community, including many people she does not even know, have shown.

TO HELP

Anyone with information on this or other vandalism is asked to call Morrison police at 815-772-7659 or the anonymous reward hotline, Whiteside County Crime Stoppers, at 815-625-7867.

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