State DOT returns lost teddy bear to 6-year-old girl
YAKIMA, Wash. — For two days, 6-year-old Justice Wadsworth thought "Daddy Bear" was gone for good.
The white teddy bear was a gift from her father, Army Sgt. Claudio Wadsworth, who sent it to her just before he was deployed to Iraq when she was 2.
But on Tuesday, the bear was lost on Interstate 90 when her grandmother pulled over after Justice became car sick returning from Idaho. While the girl's father is now stationed in South Korea, the bear remains hugely important to her.
When they returned home, Justice's grandmother posted a cry for help on the state Department of Transportation's Facebook page.
Worried that people would begin searching the busy freeway, two DOT workers Terry Kukes and Harry Nelson, both of Cle Elum, looked themselves and found it in about an hour Wednesday.
"The bear must've fallen out right when they pulled over," Kukes said.
On their own time, both men made the roughly three-hour drive to the girl's Sedro-Woolley home.
"When we offered the bear to her, she took it and held it really tight and hugged it," said Kukes, a DOT maintenance superintendent. "She missed that little bear."
"It kind of tugs on your heart a little bit when you find out the significance of this bear to this little girl," he said.