Fence builder digs up grenade

A man building a fence on his father-in-law's property in the 1400 block of Dry Creek Road about a mile away from Agate Lake Sunday unearthed an old hand grenade.

Warren Mann was digging post holes for a fence about 100 feet away from his father-in-law's home when the grenade turned up at about 12:35 p.m. Sunday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported.

"It really upset my son-in-law. He dug in a shovel full of dirt, turned it over and something rolled. He took another look and didn't touch it or anything," said Phillip Estevens, who owns the property where the grenade was found.

The 69-year-old Estevens called 9-1-1 and three officers were sent to the rural property in the White City area. Once officers confirmed that a grenade had been found, they immediately called in the Oregon State Police bomb squad, said Andrea Carlson, the sheriff's department spokeswoman.

"The sheriff came out and they looked at it, but didn't touch it or anything," said Estevens. "That was enough for them."

According to Carlson, the OSP bomb squad ruled that the grenade looked to be a training device, but due to the age they were unable to determine if it was live or not.

"The explosive people got here and one of them walked out there and came back holding it," Estevens said.

The age of the device could not be determined conclusively, but the bomb squad was able to remove the grenade without incident, Carlson reported.

Estevens believes the grenade found on his property could have something to do with its close proximity to Camp White, the Army training base used during World War II. Estevens said that officers told him the grenade was probably attached to someone's backpack and it fell off while they were on a hike.

"They all said I did the right thing," Estevens said. "I didn't intend to go near it."

— Mandy Valencia

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