Clovis girl burned after opening rigged mailbox

Created: 03/13/2014 9:43 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A 5-year-old girl in Clovis has burns on her arms, legs, and chest after a trip to the mailbox.  

"We came home like any other day, my daughter asked if she could come out here, check the mail.  I said sure go ahead, go right ahead babe," said the child’s mother Holly Kadell.  “All of a sudden she comes inside maybe two seconds later and says mom, mom, it's burning, it's burning, it's not Gatorade."

What the 5-year-old thought was a Gatorade bottle was a homemade bomb.

“I smelled it and I mean it smelled like ammonia, like her whole little outfit just smelled like it," said Kadell.  “And when my husband came out here like the grass and everything was just fizzing."

Clovis police say someone put a combination of chemicals inside of a Gatorade bottle in their mailbox set to explode whenever touched.

So, when the 5-year-old grabbed the mail, "it blew up in our mailbox and it leaked out on her," said Kadell.

The chemicals burned her arms, chest, and legs.

Luckily, the young girl was not hospitalized, and she’s doing okay.

That’s of little comfort to neighbors, though.

“It’s scary,” said Edward Martinez.  “Whoever did it knew exactly what they were doing, that's even scarier."

What the child's mother wants to know is why this neighborhood and why her mailbox?

“I’m hoping it's just random.  I mean we don't have enemies, my daughter is fun loving,” said Kadell.

Clovis police say they see homemade bombs a few times a year.

But say none have ever caused injuries, especially to a 5-year-old.

“In ways it did traumatize her, yes.  But I mean she still loves to check the mail and I'm like no, like I even get scared now,” said Kadell.  “I have to be cautious because you never know what's going to be in our mailbox anymore."

Clovis police say so far they don’t have any suspects.

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