Sketch of port-a-potty explosion suspect released
ALOHA, Ore. - Investigators released a sketch of the teenager suspected in setting off a series of "bottle bomb" explosions, including one inside a port-a-potty that injured a woman on Saturday.
Authorities also confirmed there were three explosions likely caused by the same mixture of household chemicals stuffed inside a water bottle.
The first bottle exploded Friday evening inside a mailbox.
The next afternoon, a similar device blew up inside a port-a-potty in Arnold Park when a woman was still inside. Fifteen minutes later, a third bottle blew up inside another mailbox a few blocks away.
The woman injured in the port-a-potty explosion, Karikaye Finch, 40, told KATU she saw a teenager leave the portable restroom before she went inside.
Bottle bombs explode several minutes after mixing the chemicals together, so it is likely the device was placed in the port-a-potty shortly before it exploded.
Finch said deputies responding to the scene questioned her and collected evidence on Saturday. However, she said she was not asked to provide a description to a sketch artist until Monday.
The sheriff's office waited until Monday morning to assign a detective and begin developing a sketch of the suspect, which was released Monday afternoon.
"There's no need to bring them out on over-time, on the weekend, when information is just as good Monday morning," said Sgt. Bob Ray, spokesman for the sheriff's office. "We know from experience memory is usually better two days later."
Finch, visiting with her family from Spokane for her daughter's softball tournament, was staying at a hotel in Hillsboro.
KATU spoke to the detective as he arrived with a sketch artist at Finch's hotel on Monday morning.
The detective, who is an expert on explosives, requested anonymity because he says he often works undercover.
He said his superiors evaluated the situation on Saturday and decided to wait to dispatch him until he arrived at work on Monday.
Authorities also did not release information about the first explosion until Monday morning when questioned about it by KATU.
The homeowner did not report the explosion to authorities until Saturday afternoon, according to Sgt. Ray, three or four hours after the other two bottle bombs blew up.
There are now three confirmed reports of explosions in Washington County.
On Friday evening, the first device exploded inside a mailbox on SW Davis Road. Nobody was hurt, but the mailbox was damaged.
The next day, around 12:30 p.m., a second device exploded inside a port-a-potty in Arnold Park during a high school softball tournament. The blast injured Finch, who was inside the restroom attending her daughter's softball game. She was taken to the hospital and received two staples in her head.
A few minutes later, around 12:45 pm Saturday, a third device exploded inside a mailbox a few blocks away from Arnold Park on SW 180th Ave. Nobody was injured.