Authorities identify man killed in Beaver Dam apartment explosion; Funeral will be held Thursday

Posted at 8:47 AM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 19:25:01-04

Police on Wednesday identified the man killed in last week's explosion at a Beaver Dam apartment complex as 28-year old Benjamin Morrow. 

Police Chief John Kreuziger said Morrow was the registered tenant in the apartment unit where the blast occurred. 

Kreuziger said investigators had to wait for DNA analysis to make a positive identification because they weren't able to obtain fingerprints or dental information following the explosion. 

He added he doesn't know how long Morrow had lived in the Beaver Dam area.

The apartment building, at 109 Knaup Dr., will be burned down Thursday morning because city officials believe that's the best way to eliminate volatile chemicals still inside. 

Kreuziger declined to comment on what chemicals were found inside the building, and what Morrow's motive for possessing them may have been, but he said investigators continue to believe Morrow was building a bomb. 

"There were volatile explosives inside. That's why we believe that," the chief said.

Morrow's death is a puzzle to all who knew him, said Pastor Jerry Marsden. 

Marsden will preside at Morrow's funeral service Thursday in Madison.

"I'd love to defend Ben because he has been described as a bomb maker and he's not a bomb maker," Marsden said. "He wasn't a recluse as some have said he is. He was far from that."

On Wednesday afternoon, no one answered the door at a home in Black Creek, 16 miles north of Appleton, where online records indicate Morrow's parents live. 

The online, networking site LinkedIn indicates Morrow started a job at the Richelieu Foods facility in Beaver Dam over the summer. His resume shows that he previously worked at PPD in Middleton, Wisconsin, for more than three years. 

Prior to that, Morrow graduated from Pensacola Christian College in Florida in May, 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Pre-Pharmacy. 

A spokesperson for the college said the school is grieved to hear of Morrow's passing and extends sympathies to his family. 

She added Morrow has not been affiliated with the institution since he graduated. 

Prior to college, Morrow was home-schooled, according to his obituary. 

"He was an excellent student with a thirst for knowledge," the obituary reads. 

"He was a hard worker, and had a good rapport with all those around him. Benjamin was an avid reader, enjoying history books especially.  He also loved to hike at state parks, climb, lift weights, and jog," according to the obituary.