The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed the physical examination of remains of the man who died on March 19, 2015, before 6:30 a.m., on Highway 26 near Rhododendron.
Authorities have determined that the blast that killed the deceased was caused by the explosion of a suspected exploding target mixture not regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. Parts of a firearm were found at the scene. The blast appears to have been an isolated incident and there are no indications of links to terrorism. The blast occurred about 25 feet from the edge of the road just inside the woods and left a hole about 11 feet wide.
According to Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson, a preliminary examination of the person’s remains indicated he died of ‘Blast Injuries with Body Fragmentation’. While the investigation is still ongoing the death is not believed to be a homicide at this point.
Positive identification of the individual is still under investigation and will likely require additional scientific testing for verification and may take several weeks to complete.