“What is a grenade doing in my backyard?”
That’s the question 13-year-old Edith Watts said she asked herself Tuesday evening, when she found a grenade on her family’s property in Ridgeway.
Watts, who was home by herself at the time, said Wednesday that she was on her way to check on her pet rabbit’s new bunnies when she noticed something that “look(ed) like a grenade” in the dirt by her four-wheeler.
“That looks weird,” Watts said she remembers thinking to herself.
Watts said she first suspected the object might be a grenade when she saw the bumpy side of it. After picking the grenade up, she said she called her mom and her grandpa, who had left to run errands.
Watts said that she was more confused than scared when she found the grenade, but that it could have been dangerous.
“I could have lost some fingers,” she said.
Tobin Watts, Edith’s dad, said they’ve found similar material on the property — where he’s lived for 15 years. Watts said, for example, that he once found a disarmed mortar that he now uses as a throttle adjuster for his truck, but that Edith finding a grenade is “surreal.”
“It’s kind of freaky thinking about (the grenade) being there,” Watts said, adding that they spend a lot of time moving around on the property.
Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Tim DeSpain confirmed Wednesday that troopers received a call at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday from someone who said they’d found the grenade on their property. Out of precaution, DeSpain said troopers called Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, which responded to the scene from Anchorage at about 8:30 p.m.
DeSpain said JBER’s EOD team removed the grenade from the property, but that it is unclear whether or not the grenade is live.
Edith said troopers and the EOD team didn’t leave her house until later that night, but that she didn’t mind staying up late on a school night to watch the action.
“It was totally worth it,” she said.