GEORGETOWN (CBS) — Neighbors say they are deeply disturbed by newly-revealed allegations that a man on their street killed a young boy and buried his body in the basement.
The allegation was made in a search warrant application for the home of Peter Haskell, who died at age 85 in November.
In that warrant, authorities said they were searching for a boy Haskell allegedly murdered in the 1970s.
The FBI and Massachusetts State Police began the search of Haskell’s home earlier this month.
Three weeks ago, investigators announced they had found three bones on Haskell’s property that they believe are from an animal.
Authorities also discovered 12 dolls; a box containing children’s ID cards; a boy mannequin wearing a Beverly soccer uniform; and VCR and audio cassette tapes.
The warrant revealed the FBI scoured the home with radar looking for a body after a witness came forward in 2007 accusing Haskell of sexual assault and murder.
The warrant states that Haskell brought the witness to the woods where the boy was tied up and stated “this is what happens to bad little boys” then “took the rock and smashed the back left side of the young boy’s head, killing him.”
Police say the victims of a 1999 attempted abduction identified Haskell by comparing his photo to a sketch of the suspect.
“I never picked up anything weird about him,” college student Ally Newbury, 21, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe. “He always seemed really friendly, really nice. Kinda kept to himself.”
Newbury, who lives in the area, said she even spent time with him when she was around 10 or 11 because he seemed like a lonely old man. She said she and her friend used to go into Haskell’s home and watch recorded horse racing videos with him.
She said she’s very disturbed by the new allegations contained in the search warrant application.
“It just like, blew my mind, I really hope it’s not true,” she said. “We used to play in his back yard. They’re thinking that, if he did do that, it might be on his property somewhere, and that’s crazy, to think that we were back there.”
Haskell’s next-door neighbor told The Daily News of Newburyport that investigators searched his house five years ago with K-9 units.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports