Authorities believe a grenade sold at a North Carolina antique store may be responsible for the death of a teenager in Virginia.
According to investigators, the explosive device was one of many “unknowingly” sold at Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were trying to track down whoever bought the hand grenade on July 13. Employees at the store said they thought it was “nothing more than a harmless paperweight.”
“The grenade, thought to be inert, may contain materials that could degrade and explode,” the ATF said in a statement.
“At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor buyer believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous,” the agency said. The grenade was an “MK2″ and used in combat during World War II.
Seeking the public’s help in locating a grenade purchased June 13 at the Fancy Flea Antique Mall, Ocean Isle Beach. The grenade, thought to be inert, may contain materials that could degrade & explode. If you purchased such a device on that date, contact 704-716-1800. pic.twitter.com/z5CFPLTfEh
— ATF Charlotte (@ATFCharlotte) December 28, 2020
The deadly explosion happened in Abingdon, Virginia on Dec. 23, according to a report by the Associated Press. ATF would not identify the teen killed in the blast, but believe the individual’s death was linked to the purchase in the North Carolina coastal town.
World War II artifacts are commonly found in the area. In 1942, one of the most horrific battles of the War raged near the area. It was dubbed the “Battle of the Atlantic,” a battlefield that encompassed the Atlantic Ocean from North America to Europe. During periods of rough surf, artifacts are known to wash up on the shores, especially in the area of the Outer Banks.