Get the top 5 daily headlines and breaking news alerts from Seattle’s #1 morning news

Mom ‘frightened,’ baffled after 4-year-old son finds apparent explosive device on their property

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. --- A Thurston County woman says her child picked up an explosive device he found on the family’s property and now she wants to know why it ended up near her home.

It happened in a rural area of Thurston County where not a lot of people walk down Spurgeon Creek Road SE.

On March 24, a 4-year old boy found what appeared to be an explosive device under the tree that sits feet from his family’s home.

“I just immediately went into shock and panic mode,” said Carolyn Mitchell.

Mitchell couldn’t believe her son found and picked up an explosive device hidden under their tree.

“Something caught his eye over here,” said Mitchell as she pointed to a giant tree in her front yard.

It happened as the boy got off the bus from school and was walking toward the home.

“So he just turned to run and picked up what at first looked like a water bottle, but I was right behind him and when I got to the other side I saw that it had wires and tape attached to it,” said Mitchell.

The device had been placed above ground and partially out of sight.

“There was what looked like an antenna with foil on the end of it and then two other wires attached to the top of the bottle going into where the liquid was, which there were different layers of dark brown liquids and then a white colored wax type material at the bottom,” added Mitchell.

Mitchell said the purple wires attached to the bottle were buried about two feet underground.

“I’m frightened and fear the uncertainty of not knowing if it was a personal target,” added Mitchell.

After she realized what it was, she quickly called 911 and watched as the Washington State Patrol bomb squad took care of the device.

“It’s kind of baffling as to what was really their intent on that being there,” said Mitchell.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said it disposed of the device and believed it had been an explosive at one time but it appeared to be old.

Deputies don’t believe it had been placed there recently and at this time, they said they were not investigating this any further, but Mitchell wants answers.

“I’m interested to know what possible destructive potential something like this had. I don’t know if it was alive or dead when we found it but I’m just happy that God was watching over us and it did not detonate,” added Mitchell.

We’re told there are several kids that live down this road and Mitchell is concerned more of these devices could show up in her neighborhood.

For now, Mitchell plans to keep an eye out for anything suspicious on her block.