Police search for dead man's missing guns - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Police search for dead man's missing guns

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EAST WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of guns were found in an East Windsor home, and the owner was believed to have been dead from natural causes for weeks.

Officers were called to a home on Stoughton Road about 10 a.m. and discovered the body of a man who was barely recognizable, according to police.

The body was identified as the homeowner, 57-year-old Russell Bickford, who lives alone. Authorities believe Bickford had been dead for up to three weeks. The medical examiner says the 57-year-old died of natural causes.

Inside, police found about 30 guns, grenades, and black powder.

Neighbors said the red house on Stoughton Road has been the center of suspicious activity for quite some time.

"Things never looked good over there," said neighbor Dave Cushman. "We were trying to figure out what was going on. There was a lot of traffic going in and out of that yard a lot." 

"If you needed a hand, he'd help you," said Steve Welesky, a local store owner.

Welesky said Bickford used to come into his store often, but lately had been more withdrawn.

"Usually out in the yard doing stuff, and the last few months he hasn't been doing that," Welesky said. "I don't know what was happening."

Bickford lived alone, but rented out the top floor of his house. Police said those tenant's family members have a criminal history, as well as the people neighbors spotted coming in and out.

The tenants finally called police after putting up with the smell downstairs for a few days.

Those tenants are out of the house now and police determined Wednesday they're going to have to condemn the house because it's in such disrepair. They say during the investigation they found Bickford was heating the place with propane, garden hoses and PVC pipes.

The main concern now for police is if guns are missing. Investigators said there's ammunition and parts that don't match the guns they found. They want to make sure they didn't fall into the wrong hands. Only one rifle was registered to Bickford.

"He said he had quite a few guns, but he said he was a gun collector, so I don't know," Cushman said.

Detectives said they want to talk to several people about what happened at Bickford's home. They are actively looking for those people. Anyone with any information is asked to call the East Windsor Police Department at 860-292-8240.

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