Woman says stuffed bear won at holiday gift exchange is filled with human remains

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HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) – If you’ve ever been to a white elephant party, you may have come home with some sort of wacky or offbeat gift – but likely not a bear stuffed with human remains.

It happened to one Houston woman, and she’s trying to find out if anyone is missing it.

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. “There’s always some sort of funny adult calendar or cookbook that goes around.”

By the end, 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. “It was Wednesday, the 12th of December,” Desai said.

Two weeks later, she decided to learn more about the brown bear with the 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 made sense.

“I hope I can bring you comfort in whatever life brings your way.” Desai said.

It then clicked. 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

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 a holiday party, she said she hopes the white elephant exchange will reunite the bear with its rightful owner.

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

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