Hagerstown, MD - The Maryland State Police is reporting the death of a Washington County man is being investigated after troopers responded his family requests a welfare check.
The deceased is identified as Bradley Ray Roberts, 60, of the 23,000 block of Foxville Road in Smithsburg, Maryland. Roberts was pronounced deceased on the scene by emergency medical service personnel. His body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
Thursday at approximately 11:00 A.M., troopers from the Hagerstown Barrack responded to a residence on Foxville Road in Smithsburg to conduct a welfare check. Family members from out of the area reported they had not spoken with Roberts for several days and that he had been ill.
Upon their arrival, troopers were able to look into the window of the residence and observe a man lying on the floor in front of what appeared to be a home-made laboratory with an excessive amount of unknown chemicals.
Investigators trained in clandestine laboratories and explosive chemical compounds, along with local task force agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration responded and assisted with entering the home to render aid. EMS personnel from the Washington County Fire and Rescue HazMat team, along with investigators from the Maryland State Police Criminal Investigation Division also responded to the scene.
Due to the unknown chemicals and the fire and rescue equipment needed to enter the home, Foxville Road (Maryland Route 77) was closed to vehicle traffic in the area. Once the chemicals inside the residence were tested and found not to be explosive, the roadway was reopened.
First Call Environmental responded to the scene under the direction of the DEA Task Force and the scene was turned over to them for safe removal of the chemicals within the residence.
There was no indication of violence or foul play at the scene. The investigation continues…