One foster family's Christmas got a lot more exciting -- but not in a good way -- after one child unwrapped a donated present only to discover a gun inside the package.
The gun was hidden in the box containing a teddy bear. The package was among already wrapped presents handed out last Thursday by St. Anthony’s Church in SoHo, the New York Post reports.
“This is something you never expect on Christmas,” said 8-year-old Natasha Brunson's foster mom, Sheeba Anderson. "I heard her say, ‘Look, Miss Sheeba, I found a gun!’ She was waving it around and playing with it.”
Natasha told CBS 2 that when she initially found the gun and pulled it from behind the plush bear, she was not scared because she thought the weapon was a toy.
The Post reported that police investigating the incident were unable to find any visible serial numbers and said the firing pin was removed.
“I feel like we narrowly avoided what could have been a terrible disaster. I couldn’t calm down all day," Anderson told the paper.
A representative for St. Anthony's told CBS 2 that the bear was not provided by the church, but was part of toys collected by the Edwin Gould Services for Children and Family nonprofit.
In a statement obtained by NBC New York, the Administration for Children’s Services said it was investigating "how and why an inoperable weapon was discovered in a foster home."
"We are concerned when any potential risk in a foster home comes to our attention, and are working to ensure that all of the children in the home remain safe," the statement continued.
In May, a man traveling to Detroit with his young son was discovered to be carrying gun pieces hidden inside three stuffed animals in his carry-on, Yahoo! reports. The disassembled pieces were spotted during an X-ray of the bag, according to the Associated Press.