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Police quiet on Salisbury house search

Police searched a house at 19 Liberty St. (second left) in Salisbury, reportedly in an investigation of human remains.

JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF

Police searched a house at 19 Liberty St. (second left) in Salisbury, reportedly in an investigation of human remains.

SALISBURY — Local police joined detectives from the State Police and Boston police last week in searching a recently rented home in this beach community, the police chief said.

But authorities had no public comment on a report in The Daily News of Newburyport that the search was related to last week’s discovery of body parts in Bridgewater and the Hyde Park section of Boston.

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Salisbury Police Chief Thomas W. Fowler confirmed that a search had taken place at 19 Liberty St. He referred any further questions to the Essex district attorney’s office.

“I do not believe there is any danger to the public,’’ he said.

District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s spokeswoman, Carrie Kimball Monahan, said that prosecutors will not discuss any ongoing investigation.

One law enforcement official briefed on the probe said on condition of anonymity that the Salisbury search was related to the burned remains investigation and confirmed that some evidence was collected from the scene.

On Nov. 14, the surveillance camera at a Hyde Park commercial property captured images of someone driving onto the Readville Street property early in the morning, dumping a human torso and setting it afire. Late on Wednesday night Nov. 13, Bridgewater firefighters responded to the Department of Correction complex in Bridgewater, where they discovered a barrel with human remains had been set afire.

Spokesmen for Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz and Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said last week that the Bridgewater and Hyde Park occurrences are now being investigated as a single crime. They declined to say whether the Salisbury search was part of that inquiry.

The Daily News report cited three unnamed law enforcement officials,.

Liberty Street is a quiet, block-long street just off Route 1A that dead-ends at a wide expanse of marshland. The house is a three-story, khaki-colored structure built on stilts. Inside the house, paper police evidence markers were visible on the kitchen counter.

Residents said the people who lived at the house were winter renters, meaning they would only have been there for two months or so. The residents described loud music and late-night activity at the home.

Jim Ferrara moved onto the street in mid-October. On Friday evening, he said, he found about 15 police cars on the street, and he and his wife were blocked from returning to their home.

The police would not tell them what was going on, but when he was finally allowed to drive down the street, police made him do it with his lights off. They also told him to keep his lights off inside his home and stay indoors.

Ferrara said that two weeks ago there was police activity at the house and that the rumor was that a man had beaten up a woman

Bob and Pat Rose, who also live on the street, also said there was police activity at the house about two weeks ago, and they had heard a rumor that a man had beaten up his girlfriend.

After hearing of the Daily News report, Pat Rose said, “I never saw the man, but now that you know this, it’s creepy.”

“It really makes you scratch your head,” said Bob Rose.

Billy Baker can be reached at billybaker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @billy_baker. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@ globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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