Teddy bear lost at Detroit airport returned to 8-year-old after amazing journey

- When Trish Dewald and her family returned home from a trip to Texas, they realized something was wrong.

"We got everyone off the airplane, got home just regular end of trip stuff and that's when we realized Teddy was gone," she said.

Teddy is a key member of the Dewald  family.

That's because the well-loved stuffed bear is 8-year-old Eleanor's best friend.

"I sleep with Teddy and sometimes Teddy comes to school with me," she said.

After a quick search of the family car and bags, the family tried to remember the last time they saw Teddy.

"It made me sad and I wish Teddy would come home," Eleanor said.

After realizing Teddy did indeed make it back to Detroit and was lost at Detroit Metro Airport, Eleanor's mom knew she had to think fast.

She put out what she describes as an Amber Alert on Facebook to help get her little girl's BFF back home.

"As many details as we could get weight, well loved," Trish said.

That's when the family's good friend, who also happens to be a ramp agent for Southwest Airlines, decided he had to go looking for Teddy.

"You don't ever want to see a little girl have a sad Christmas. I tried as hard as I could to find the teddy bear," Steven Laudeman said.

As the search for Teddy continued, Eleanor was back home wondering if she would ever see her friend again.

She went to bed that night hugging her blanket, but missing Teddy.

"My blanket was soft like teddy so whenever I touch my blanket it made me feel like Teddy was there and then I noticed that Teddy wasn't," Eleanor said.

But as Eleanor slept, Steven's efforts paid off. It seems someone did not realize Teddy's true value and put the stuffed animal out with the trash,

"He was on top of a trash can," he said.

So Steven quickly rescued him and took him on an adventure as Eleanor was back home sleeping.

"I decided he was going to go to work with me. ... I kept him warm in my jacket but then he went upstairs and he decided to be the captain of an airplane, then he tried to push out the airplane but he's too short and then he met some other teddy bears and then he wrote a letter to Santa," Steven  said.

Soon Eleanor's mom got word that Teddy was found and out at Detroit Metro Airport and having a good time.

"I looked at Facebook, saw Steve's grinning face with the teddy bear sticking out of his pocket and I said oh boy what's Teddy up to," Trish said.

So she woke Eleanor up to give her the good news.

"I was happy that Teddy would be coming back soon and I was excited," Eleanor said.

Moving forward, the family says it will take steps to prevent Teddy from becoming separated from the family again.

"Get him one of those dog tags if found return to so maybe we'll employ that with Teddy or maybe Eleanor will hold him just a little tighter," Trish said.


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