Woman gets toy bear filled with ashes as gift in white elephant exchange

HOUSTON — If you’ve ever been to a white elephant party, you may have come home with some sort of wacky or offbeat gift. But more than likely not a bear stuffed with human remains.

It happened to a Houston woman — and now she’s trying to find out if anyone is missing it, KTRK reports.

Each holiday season, Rakhi Desai looks forward to a night with friends.

“Like typical gift exchanges go, you get kind of a funny gift,” she said.

But this year, by the end of the white elephant gift exchange, Desai got a teddy bear.

“The way it ended up, nobody tried to steal this from me,” she said.

She took it home and thought nothing of it.

Two weeks later, she decided to learn more about the brown bear with a stitched heart. The words “Neptune Society” are on its foot. A quick online search revealed it wasn’t any ordinary bear.

“I read that and then I started to feel, and then I can feel it’s almost like little pebbles or rocks,” Desai said.

After discovering the hidden insides, the bear’s tag, which said, “I hope I can bring you comfort in whatever life brings your way,” made sense. Desai realized the bear is filled with someone’s remains.

“It seems to me that this bear is very special to somebody and belongs in somebody’s family,” she said.

Desai said her friend got the bear from an estate sale, but she doesn’t know when and where she got it. So Desai called the company on the bear’s foot.

“They don’t track them, and there’s no way for them to know who this belongs to,” she said.

There’s a name on the bear’s tag. Desai’s hoping the owner can tell her what it is so she knows it’s the right family.

After getting the bear at the holiday party, she now hopes the white elephant exchange will reunite the bear with its owner.

“Miracles happen every day,” Desai said. “So if there’s a positive end to this story, that would be great.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.