Halifax: Unknown substance of concern found during probe into death sets off evacuation

All is clear on Tuesday morning on Lydon Lane, after the body of 70-year-old retired teacher David Pierce, reported missing last week, was discovered by a cadaver dog inside his apartment on Monday afternoon, along with an unknown substance that posed a potential hazard.

“There is an unknown substance that we are trying to analyze and we are trying to make sure that it is safe.” said Fire chief William Carrico, on Monday night. “This is mainly precautionary.”

Police and fire officials conducting the investigation into Pierce’s death, located the unknown substance in a kitchen cabinet. The find set off an evacuation of a strip of condo units on Lydon Lane, and a call for state hazardous material teams to secure the substance and remove it from the apartment.

“It’s just enough to throw up the red flag and be precautionary,” said Carrico. “There was no odor; we found the substance and we are treating it as a hazard until proven otherwise.”

Police Sgt Ted Broderick said early Monday evening that Pierce, who was reported missing by friends on Wednesday appears to have died of natural causes.

Friends say Pierce suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

Authorites conducted welfare checks twice last week at the apartment where the retired teacher was found dead on Monday.

“We’ve come to this residence quite often – to help him up off the floor, he’s fallen alot,” said Carrico. “We started coming out here last Tuesday and Monday, for, apparently he wasn’t answering the phone it was for a check to see if he was home or not.”

Chief Carrico says each time authorities came by he was not home.

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About Steven Dodrill

Steven Dodrill left the WATD news team in 2013. "Follow" him on Twitter At Franklin Pierce, Steven worked to introduce new forms of media like YouTube, and Twitter to the Franklin Pierce community.  Steven graduated Cum Laude and with honors in Mass Communication from Franklin Pierce University in May of 2009. Steven focused his education and experience in New Hampshire around sports broadcasting, digital media, broadcast journalism, news, media production, and political reporting. "Like" him on Facebook Dodrill also interned with the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League during the summer of 2007, and most recently in the spring of 2009 he completed an internship in the newsroom at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH.