Jefferson City (KOMU) - Casey Janssen found a double-barreled shotgun rolled into a pair of girl's blue jeans while mowing her neighbor's yard on Shady Lane in Jefferson City Monday.
"I was mowing the back yard, and I hit something with my mower, and it stopped my mower, so I went to pull out a pair of pants or whatever it was, and out came a shotgun," Janssen said.
She stopped what she was doing and called the sheriff, she said.
Jansen said she mows the yard every now and then because sher neighbor is 73 and unable to do so herself.
Cole County Sheriff Capt. John Wheeler said the gun could have been there for up to 11 months, and the extensive rust damage will make it difficult to determine the origin of the gun.
"There is no chance for DNA or fingerprints because it has been sitting out there," Wheeler said. "Because it was wrapped in blue jeans, it kept the moisture close to the metal and amplified the corrosion process."
Some neighbors voiced concern that the property had become so overgrown a firearm could have gone unnoticed for so long.
"My concern is, if a double-barreled shotgun was laying back there, what else is laying back there," neighbor Gary King said.
"Somebody needs to come over and see to it that this place gets cleaned up," King said. "We have all kinds of little kids running around here, and any time you find firearms in the back yard it's bad news."
The shotgun was not loaded when the police found it. Wheeler said if the gun was stolen, it will be returned to its rightful owner. It will otherwise be placed into evidence.