A 6-year-old girl found a handgun behind her Cleveland Road residence, but police can't yet ascertain whether the small revolver is the real thing.
The youngster dug the gun out of a dirt embankment near a marsh where she was playing.
Police officers were unable to determine whether the small revolver was authentic or a toy because it had apparently been in the ground so long and the clay that caked on it couldn't be removed.
The officers attempted to chip the clay off once they got it back to the station, but had to change tactics after a small part of the gun barrel broke off while they chipped away at it.
Next, they tried to wash it under hot water, but still had no luck cleaning it off.
The officers left the gun to dry and referred the incident to police Chief John Majoy.
Majoy enlisted help from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, which is in the process of examining it.