Bomb squad clears Streeterville apartment of explosive compound after man found dead inside

Streeterville building was partially evacuated Wednesday after a bomb squad found explosive compounds in an apartment where a man was found dead earlier that morning.

Officers conducting a follow-up investigation on the man’s death found hazardous materials about 4 p.m. at an apartment in the 200 block of East Illinois Street, Chicago police said.

In a statement Thursday, police said one of the chemicals found in the apartment was lead azide, a volatile substance used as a detonator in explosives.


A police spokesperson couldn’t confirm a report claiming pipe bombs were found inside.

The man who lived there, 30-year-old Theodore Hilk, was pronounced dead about 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy to determine the cause of death was pending.

Two floors in the building were evacuated, and the FBI was called to the scene alongside officers from the Chicago Police SWAT team and bomb unit, police said.

Chicago police spokesman Tom Ahern would not elaborate on the nature of the materials found but said specialty units "contained the items found in the apartment" and were going to "take them and render them safe."

Police said the scene was cleared by 11 p.m. and the materials were "disposed of" less than an hour later.

In a televised interview, Police Supt. David Brown said, "We removed the material from the home, so the area is safe for the public."