A teddy bear with audio recording of 28-year-old Mara Soriano’s late mom saying “I love you” is back safely in her arms after good Samaritans and celebrities alike banded together to track down her stolen belonging.
“NOT A SINGLE SCRATCH ON HER!” Soriano tweeted Tuesday night. “Two kind Samaritans returned her to us in a safe space.” She added that the glasses on the bear were missing upon return, but the voice box, which contained audio of her mom speaking to her in their native tongue Tagalog before her passing, was undamaged.
Canadian celebrities, including Ryan Reynolds and Dan Levy, who Soriano called instrumental in the reunion, also took to twitter to congratulate her.
It all started when Soriano, from Vancouver, was moving into a new home with her fiancé over the weekend. She had taken her eye off a bag containing the bear – along with valuable electronics and important documents like their passports – for just a moment, and it was taken from the street.
"The bear is so important to me because it was the last thing I had of my mother before she got really sick and passed away from cancer," Soriano told Inside Edition Digital. "I hugged it and listened to it every time I missed her. She says that she loves me in our native language, that she's proud of me, and that no matter where I am, a part of her will always be with me."
Soriano said her mom had recorded the sweet message before going into hospice care, where she ultimately passed away in June 2019. She recalled her mom's voice changing and growing softer in hospice care, and the bear has the only recording of her mom speaking in the tone she remembered growing up.
Even though it is not clear whether she has tracked down any other items the bag contained, Soriano said the most important thing is that the bear is now returned.