After some high-profile retweeting of her plea, Mara Soriano once again has the teddy bear that talks like her mother.
The stuffed animal was stolen last week while Soriano and her fiance were unloading a U-Haul trailer outside their new Vancouver home.
It had special sentimental value: It played a recording made by Soriano’s mother shortly before she left last year at age 53.
“It said she loved me, she was proud of me, and she’ll always be with me,” Soriano told CNN. “I hugged it every time I missed her.”
Security video showed a man grabbing the bag that contained the bear and walking away.
And on Tuesday night, the Vancouver resident was successful.
Sitting in her apartment, surrounded by half-unpacked boxes, a smiling Soriano cuddled the brown bear returned hours earlier by two Good Samaritans, still wearing its red-and-white dress and white jacket.
“I’m not gonna lie I kind of buckled. As soon as I saw (him) pull her out of the bag my knees just buckled,” she said in a Skype interview.
“I just started sobbing and I grabbed her out of his hands and I couldn’t let her go.”
Celebrities such as Ryan Reynolds and George Stroumboulopoulos each promised $5,000 rewards for its return.
Late on Tuesday, two men, who said they had found the plush toy, returned it to an overjoyed Ms. Soriano.
The two parties arranged to meet at a public place. “We waited, and lo and behold, he just pulled Mama Bear out of his bag, and I just immediately started crying!” Ms. Soriano said to Global News.
The man who returned the bear said he saw security footage of the theft, recognized the thief and retrieved it from him.
Ryan Reynolds thanked the people who facilitated the bear’s return in a tweet.