MIT graduate found dead in Chicago with materials for three different explosives

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Mystery as ‘off the charts gifted’ MIT graduate, 30, is found dead in his Chicago apartment with bomb-making equipment for three different explosives

  • Theodore Hilk, 30, was found dead in his Streeterville apartment on Tuesday
  • Police evacuated two floors of the building after finding explosives
  • Hilk is believed to have died days before he was found on a welfare check
  • He was described as ‘off the charts’ by his high school counselor

A ‘genius’ MIT graduate described by his high school counselor as ‘off the charts’ was found dead in his Chicago apartment on Tuesday surrounded by explosives.

A follow-up investigation revealed that Theodore Hilk’s apartment contained bomb-making equipment for three different explosives.

Police could not confirm previous reports that the 30-year-old had two active pipe bombs stored in his refrigerator in the Streeterville apartment on the 7th floor.

But the discovery of explosive material, which police initially thought was a meth lab, led to a two-story evacuation of the apartment building.

Theodore Hilk, 30, was found dead surrounded by bomb-making equipment for three different explosives, and had two active pipe bombs stored in his refrigerator

Theodore Hilk, 30, was found dead surrounded by bomb-making equipment for three different explosives, and had two active pipe bombs stored in his refrigerator

The Chicago Fire Department later discovered lead azide, a substance most commercially used as a detonator for large explosives, in Hilk’s apartment building.

The explosive material was shipped from Hilk’s apartment at 240 East Illinois Street in a white explosion-proof container.

Chicago police said the materials had all been safely disposed of by the Special Functions Division.

Police said the site was cleared at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

How Hilk got his hands on the cache of explosives and what he intended to use them for remains unclear.

Hilk’s body was discovered during a routine welfare check-up and was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

However, he is said to have died days earlier and police said the body had already started to decompose when it was discovered.

The explosive material was shipped from Hilk's apartment at 240 East Illinois Street in a white explosion-proof container

The explosive material was shipped from Hilk's apartment at 240 East Illinois Street in a white explosion-proof container

The explosive material was shipped from Hilk’s apartment at 240 East Illinois Street in a white explosion-proof container

Chicago police said the materials had all been safely disposed of by the Special Functions Division

Chicago police said the materials had all been safely disposed of by the Special Functions Division

Chicago police said the materials had all been safely disposed of by the Special Functions Division

The 30-year-old’s death is under investigation and now the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is involved.

The 30-year-old graduated from MIT in 2013, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering and mathematics.

In 2015 he started working as a day trader at Headlands Technologies in Chicago.

Hilk is originally from Kansas and went to school on the outskirts of Kansas City.

He was a very intelligent person and achieved a perfect score on his ACT in 2007.

Carolyn, high school counselor Devane said, “I’ve only known a handful of people who scored a 36.

“I think sometimes his biggest struggle was the social side of a teenager and being gifted so off the charts.”

The discovery of explosive materials, which police initially believed to be a meth lab, led to a two-story evacuation of the Streeterville apartment building.

The discovery of explosive materials, which police initially believed to be a meth lab, led to a two-story evacuation of the Streeterville apartment building.

The discovery of explosive materials, which police initially believed to be a meth lab, led to a two-story evacuation of the Streeterville apartment building.

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