SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – It’s been nearly five months since a quiet neighborhood in South Jordan shook from a house packed with explosives on Pioneer Day. A second explosion rattled the neighborhood on Halloween, and neighbors woke up Saturday to a break-in.
That’s why residents said they want city officials to step in and demolish the home.
They said the city has reassured them their homes are safe but added it’s not enough after what happened on Halloween and Saturday. They’re worried it’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt again.
“We plan on being here until we’re gone,” neighbor Heidi Beck said. “We’ve always felt very secure here, felt we didn’t have to worry.”
And while some yards have a grinch or two, this South Jordan neighborhood is hoping to save more than Christmas this year.
“Honestly and truthfully, it’s like, when is it going to blow up again and who is going to be in there and be injured again?” Beck said. “I mean, you can’t help but wonder that.”
Early Saturday morning Beck woke up to red and blue lights — but not the twinkling kind.
“My husband was woken up at about 4 a.m. with lights going — not the sirens, but lights going on outside our bedroom window,” she said.
Police caught someone breaking into the boarded-up home on the corner.
“You still don’t know what’s down in that basement,” neighbor Shane Davis said. “The fact that someone snuck in there makes you wonder what they’re trying to get at that they are constantly going in there.”
“We want to thank neighbors who identified the individual and called the police. While we cannot know how it feels to live next to this property where one of your neighbors created this difficult situation, we are doing our part to resolve it,” said city public information officer Rachael Van Cleave.
At the same home, located at 3371 West Snow Moon Place, police discovered a large stockpile of explosives on Pioneer Day after a shootout with the homeowner Ryan McManigal.
“It was just things I don’t ever want to remember ever again,” Beck said.
Then on Halloween, the home blew-up again, injuring a man who may have accidentally set something off in the basement.
“I wanted to literally go in the house and help carry him out, and they wouldn’t let us,” Beck said. “And that eats at me also.”
McManigal remains in jail facing a list of felony charges — but still no word on the plans for the home.
Ryan Lynn McManigal, 42, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail early in the morning on Friday, July 24, 2020 after police allegedly found potentially explosive materials at his home. (Photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office)
“We’re left guessing all the time, especially when we have firetrucks coming in, two-to-three times a week,” neighbor Melyn Davis said. “We don’t know what’s going on.”
Neighbors said McManigal’s relatives have been emptying the home over the last few weeks, escorted by the fire department. Moreover, they want more transparency and information from the city as to plans for the home.
“I think that is the most frustrating part,” Beck said. “We don’t know what’s going on with it and we have to live next door to it. We just want them to come out and tell us what’s going on and what’s inside.”
“We need it down so that we can feel comfortable in our own homes,” Davis added.
Officials with the South Jordan Police Department said the suspect they arrested for criminal trespassing Saturday morning was 36-year-old Aaron Norris.
He allegedly told officers he is related to McManigal and was checking up on the home; his statements are under investigation.
In a statement issued to KSL-TV late Saturday, city officials said they are working to clear and demolish the home.
“The family with power of attorney removed the last of Ryan McManigal’s property from the home last Saturday,” officials said. “This week, the city obtained a bid for the demolition and removal of the home and the city anticipates receiving another bid next week. Our city attorney’s office is working with the mortgage company, which has not recently been very responsive. If we are not able to make progress Monday our attorney’s office anticipates filing legal action in court.”
As for McManigal, a psychiatric assessment for him was filed on Dec. 15 to determine his competence to stand trial. His next hearing will be on Jan. 12.