WINDER, Ga. - Law enforcement in Winder are investigating an explosion that occurred early on Saturday morning.
The Winder Police Department said a loud explosion woke residents of a neighborhood at 3:15 a.m.
Police officers found out someone had set off "explosive material" near a mailbox by the road in front of several homes on Holly Drive between McNeal Road and Brookview Terrace.
The explosion happened outside the home of Wayne Rutledge. Police said the explosion was powerful enough to cause "significant damage" to a vehicle and break several windows.
Rutledge and his family were away at the time but the blast was so strong it crumpled the brick mailbox and destroyed his car. "I’m pissed off because I have a hell of a mess to clean up," Rutledge said.
Rutledge has been finding pieces of the ‘makeshift bomb’ all over his yard. "These neighbors were awake when it happened but they didn’t hear anyone going up and down the street. They thought it was the end of the world," he said.
Rutledge believes this was a case of mistaken identity.
Officials believe this could be related to conflicts in a domestic relationship nearby.
"Whoever did this and are mad at someone else and I am having to suffer the consequences. I am not happy at all," Rutledge said.
As the cleanup continues this Vietnam veteran hopes police find whoever’s responsible. "I hope they get him. I will help in any way I can," he said.
Police said there were no signs of people injured.
Police have not named any suspects. The Winder Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted a follow-up investigation, but police said the initial investigation indicated the incident stemmed from a domestic conflict.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Winder Police Department Detective Wayne Manthe at 770-867-2156 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Athens office at 706-542-7901.
Any resident discovering property damage from the explosion may contact the Winder Police Department to have it documented in a police report.