UPDATE: Missing Teddy Bear Found — But Did Ryan Reynolds Pay Up?

Reynolds offered a reward of $5,000 for the return of the bear. Other celebrities including Dan Levy and Zach Braff tweeted their sentiments

[Aug 1, 2020: Fatherly & CNN]

{Editors Note: This original Fatherly story has been updated with new information as posted in a new story by CNN. The updated information has been appended at the end of the original story}

After last week’s news that Canadian 28-year-old Mara Soriano had a deeply important teddy bear stolen from her in the midst of a move to a new home in Vancouver caught international attention, there have finally been some positive developments in her case. After news outlets rallied around Soriano — and after they learned the story of why the teddy bear was so important to her — and Ryan Reynolds, fellow Canadian, movie star, and Blake Lively’s husband, said he would pay $5,000 to anyone who returned the bear, no questions asked. Well, it appears that some local heroes have returned the bear that meant so much to Mara.

But why was the bear so important to her? It turns out that the bear had a recording of Mara’s late mother in the paw that she could squeeze. Her mom, who passed away of cancer last year, had recorded the recording before she entered hospice — and to Mara, “At hospice her voice was different. Much softer. Not the mom I grew up with. That bear is the last memory I have of her speaking in her normal voice.”

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Well, luckily, her calls to action (and Ryan Reynolds’ monetary incentive, no doubt) have helped Mara reunite with her special teddy bear. According to WHIOTV, due to the widespread interest in the story, surveillance video was found that showed a man carrying the bag that contained the bear (among other documents which were not as important to Soriano as the bear), and this week, two men found the bear and returned it to Soriano.

According to them, they took the bear from the man who had stolen the bag in the midst of her move. Now, Maria is reunited with an important token of her mother. But of course, the real question is, did Ryan pay those who helped her find her bear? It’s unclear, although he retweeted the news that she had been reunited with the stuffed animal.

Reynolds offered a reward of $5,000 for the return of the bear. Other celebrities including Dan Levy and Zach Braff tweeted their sentiments in hopes of reuniting Soriano with the bear.

After Reynolds' offer, Soriano told CNN on Thursday that Canadian TV and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos and Kraft Peanut Butter each pitched in $5,000, making the total reward offer $15,000.

"In happier news... thank you everyone who searched high and low," Reynolds tweeted Wednesday. "To the person who took the bear, thanks for keeping it safe. Vancouver is awesome."

Security footage from Soriano's apartment building revealed a man taking the bag packed with her valuables, according to CBC. The men who returned her bear told Soriano they found it at a nearby park.

Soriano spoke with Reynolds and said he wired the reward money to men who found the bear. She said she's in contact with Stroumboulopoulos and Kraft Peanut Butter to get the good Samaritans their full reward.

Joseph Shavit
Joseph ShavitSpace, Technology and Medical News Writer
Joseph Shavit is the head science news writer with a passion for communicating complex scientific discoveries to a broad audience. With a strong background in both science, business, product management, media leadership and entrepreneurship, Joseph possesses the unique ability to bridge the gap between business and technology, making intricate scientific concepts accessible and engaging to readers of all backgrounds.