SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The missing teddy bear with the cremains of a toddler’s twin inside was returned Thursday in Salem.
The teddy bear was the constant companion of 18-month-old Isaiah Perez Pequeno, his mother Sarah said. Leaving a doctor’s appointment Tuesday, she became distracted and believes she left the teddy bear on top of her car as she drove away.
A UPS driver saw the bear get run over by a car, so he stopped, picked up the bear and tossed it on the sidewalk so it wouldn’t get run over again.
Around 3 p.m. that afternoon, Maricela Gonzalez and her husband were driving by the entrance of the Brittany Creek Apartments and spotted a bear on the sidewalk. They stopped, picked it up and put it in the back of their car.
Their daughter, 17-year-old Araceli Gonzalez, saw Sarah Pequeno’s Facebook post and mentioned it to her parents, who then said they found a teddy bear in that area.
Thursday, they got in contact with Pequeno and re-connected Isaiah with his teddy bear named Ayah — named for his twin sister.
Asked why they stopped and picked the bear up, the couple told KOIN 6 News they had a feeling it may be special to someone.
“My whole family, we are very grateful for the person who picked it up, got it out of the way and brought it home safe,” Sarah Pequeno told KOIN 6 News. “It may have taken a couple days but it is home. I am really thankful.”
Pegueno and Joseph Perez, the parents of Isaiah, scraped together a $40 reward for anyone who found the bear. They offered it to Araceli Gonzalez, but she refused. However, Perez insisted.
So, the McKay High School senior took the money but said she’ll pay it forward and use it to help someone else.
The bear lost an eye while missing, but the locket with the ashes of Ayah inside was still there.