That Bomb-Filled Bag Turned Homeless NJ Man's Life Around

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $20K
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2016 1:14 AM CDT
Updated Sep 22, 2016 5:33 AM CDT
Guy Who Found NJ Bomb in Trash Is No Longer Homeless
Lee Parker explains to reporters Wednesday how he found a bomb near a trash can in Elizabeth, NJ.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A backpack full of pipe bombs intended to cause terror and carnage ended up turning a homeless man's life around instead. Lee Parker and his friend Ivan White alerted police after they found the backpack in a garbage can in Elizabeth, NJ, Sunday night. Authorities say the bomb was close enough to a bar to have caused many deaths and injuries. The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless says Parker, 50, now has a roof over his head and the group is working on finding a permanent home for him, USA Today reports. A GoFundMe page to raise funds for Parker, the homeless organization, and White, who's a Navy veteran on a fixed income, has now raised $20,000, double its $10,000 target.

White tells New Jersey 101.5 that Parker, who carried his possessions in a plastic bag, had a job interview on Monday and thought the new-looking backpack he saw in the garbage was exactly what he needed—until he saw what was inside. Norma Bowe, director of the Be the Change NJ activist group, says the group found Parker and put him in touch with the homeless charity after hearing his story. "He literally moved that bomb, was there all night with the police, and then slept in an abandoned building," she says. "We can do better than that." reports that well-wishers have given Parker clothes and food—and a new backpack. (More Ahmad Rahami stories.)

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