A cemetery worker found a garbage bag containing 8 sticks of military-grade C-4 explosives at a historic East Village cemetery this weekend, but the explosive was not capable of detonating, police said.
Police were called to the scene around 10:45 a.m., nearby streets were closed, and no one was hurt as eight bricks of "inert" C-4 was removed by police without incident. C-4 requires a detonator, or cap, to explode. No caps were found at the scene, police said.
A volunteer participating in a clean-up day at the historic Marble Cemetery alerted authorities to the danger, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters. The volunteer initially put the explosives in a garbage can yesterday, Kelly said. But after talking with friends about the potential danger, the volunteer alerted the 9th Precinct this morning.
Kelly also said a rambling note making reference to Jesus Christ was found at the nearby 9th Precinct. The note was also signed "Jesus" and referenced Second Street, which is where the explosives were found, Kelly said. Another strange note was scrawled in chalk on a nearby sidewalk.
But investigators at this time don't think there is a link between the notes and the discovery of the explosives.
The C-4 was originally discovered over a year ago by a cemetery groundskeeper who found the explosives when digging a hole for shrubs in May or June of 2009, Kelly said. The caretaker found the explosives buried a foot beneath the ground and left them against a tree where it was discovered once again this weekend by the volunteer.
There are two cemeteries side-by-side at the location at 2nd Street between Second and First Avenues. Both are called Marble and both considered historic.
It's not clear which cemetery the bag was placed in. One was designated a landmark in the late 1960s. Six members of a branch of the Roosevelt family are buried there, as well as a Stephen Allen, former mayor and New York governor.