MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) — An Alabama woman is trying to find a teddy bear’s original owner after discovering a person’s ashes inside the stuffed animal. Vicki Wise, of Lauderdale County, told Nexstar’s WHNT that she was driving through a Muscle Shoals neighborhood when her daughter noticed a stuffed bear sitting by a pile of garbage. Wise said they picked up the stuffed animal for her dog.
Afterward, they discovered a Velcro pouch in the bear’s back, and inside was a small, heart-shaped box with a person’s ashes inside. “It was mind-blowing,” Wise said. “I just couldn’t believe I found something like that in a trash bin. It was startling.”
On the back of the box was a name: “Barry Freed.” A note attached to the box says Freed passed away on May 20, 2020. Wise explained that a quick internet search of the person’s name did not give her many results. She is now trying to find the original owner.
“I don’t know who he is. All I know is his name and the date he passed away,” Wise said. “I don’t know where he’s from. I don’t know anything about him. But I do know that he had to be loved, and I know that the person he belongs to is missing him.”
The phrase “Forever In My Heart” is embroidered on the bear’s foot. It is also printed on top of the heart-shaped box. If you know who the teddy bear may have belonged to, you can submit a tip on WHNT’s website.