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Found grenade disrupts El Paso neighborhood, brings some levity to grieving family

By Whitney Burbank, WhitneyB@kvia.com
Published On: Mar 20 2013 01:21:26 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2013 05:20:02 PM CDT

Reporter: Whitney Burbank

EL PASO, Texas -

Matthew Ybarra said he went out looking for rattle snakes in Northeast El Paso and instead he came home with a live grenade.

16-year-old Ybarra and a friend found what appeared to be a military-style grenade with a pin still in it near the Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course on Monday.

Ybarra said he decided to carry the grenade back to his home in Northeast El Paso because he, "thought it was cool and it was empty inside." Ybarra stored the grenade in his bedroom overnight underneath his salt-water fish tank.

Ybarra said his brother-in-law discovered the grenade in his bedroom and told him to get rid of it, and a friend of his brother-in-law called police.

Ybarra's uncle, Eddie Soto said the a bomb squad shut down the neighborhood for an hour and a half while they removed the grenade from where Ybarra's brother placed it, in the center of the Loma Portal Place cul-de-sac. 

"They were telling us, the bomb squad...they said it could have gone off at any moment," said Ybarra.

Tuesday was a difficult day for the Ybarra, even before the grenade was discovered, Soto said that Ybarra's father died after cancer-relation complications Tuesday morning.

"Matthew and his brothers and sisters are coping and are dealing with what has actually come to fruition, the passing of his father," said Soto through tears. 

Soto admitted the situation brought a bit of levity to the grieving family, "What actually happened today added a little spark to his day."

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