Authorities in the Michigan city of Eaton Rapids temporarily closed all public parks after more than 40 razor blades were discovered at multiple playgrounds, with police saying it looked as though some of the blades were purposely set so as to cause injury.
A group of people reported finding several razor blades on and around playground equipment at Howe Park at around 4:40 p.m. on Monday, according to the Eaton Rapids Police Department.
“The citizens recovered approximately 39 blades prior to officers’ arrival. The officers and city staff recovered an additional two,” the police said in a statement. noting also that “some of the blades appeared to have been placed intentionally to cause harm.”
Before the disturbing discovery was made, four teenagers—two male and two female—between 17 and 18 years old were seen on the playground equipment, witnesses said.
Police described the four as “persons of interest” in the case, with the only description available being that one female had blond hair and one male had brown hair. The four teens were last seen walking north away from the playground, police said. Eaton Rapids is approximately 18 miles south of Lansing.
The police said other parks were checked “out of an abundance of caution” and more blades were found “laying in the grass” at Grand Army of the Republic Island Park.
City authorities closed all public parks to carry out inspections and, according to the Lansing State Journal, police requested help from members of the community, in particular seeking people who had access to “large, construction-grade magnets” that would help find more blades.
Resident Cody Orr, who lives near Howe Park, told the Lansing State Journal he was “magnet fishing” nearby when he saw uniformed officers in the park and lent them his gear to help search for blades.
He said a box of 100 razor blades was found on a picnic table at the park, with about 20 of the razor blades arranged in a circle pattern out in the open, while others were concealed elsewhere in the park.
According to an update from City Hall, by 3 p.m. on Tuesday all parks were reopened.
“We are happy to announce that all parks have been canvased and we are confident that any hazardous objects have been removed from the parks. We are able to open the parks at this time,” city authorities said in a statement.
“Many thanks to the generosity of the community members that came forward to assist with loaning equipment and offering other resources to aide in these efforts. We appreciate you and your dedication to this great community,” they added.