Carlsbad family continues to search for answers in loved one’s death

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CARLSBAD, N.M. – Many families of victims say waiting and not knowing who killed their loved one is the hardest part. 

That’s the case for a family in Carlsbad who says they still don’t know why 21-year-old Xavier Sy Ybarra was shot and killed. He died right around Thanksgiving last year.

Carlsbad police say it’s being investigated as a suspicious death, but they are hoping to get leads from the public.

His family is posting fliers, working to get a billboard up, and they say they just want answers.

“He was a very outgoing person, there was not a stranger around him. He talked to everybody, he was a good person,” said Sylvia Trujillo, grandmother to Ybarra.. 

Trujillo says her grandson, Xavier Sy Ybarra, was just 21 when he died from a gunshot wound to the head. Months after his death, she’s on a quest for answers.

“If it takes every breath of me to do something to try and get some kind of closure, not only for us but for him also. Why? Why was he taken from us?” asked Trujillo. 

Trujillo says Ybarra grew up in Artesia before moving to Carlsbad. That’s when they reunited to spend Thanksgiving 2022 together. 

Now, one of Trujillo’s most precious memories is one of the last memories. 

Trujillo says Ybarra had plans to go to a party with a friend. The next time she saw him he was in a hospital bed.

“We go back there, and he’s in ICU and his head is all wrapped up, and he’s got a tube in his mouth, and I’m talking to him, and he has tears coming out of his eyes. His lips are moving like he wants to talk back to you,” Trujillo said. 

She says he died a short time later.

Carlsbad police say the shooting happened on Nov. 25 on the 23 block of Legion. But they haven’t released anything on the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Much like Trujillo, they are looking for leads and witnesses.

“I’m hoping whoever knows anything about it will come forward and say ‘ok I was there, but this is all I’ve seen.’ Give some sort of information about what the atmosphere was like at the time and even afterwards,” she said. 

His family has a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for that billboard. They already have a spot in Carlsbad picked out.

If you have information, you’re asked to contact Carlsbad police.