Girl Reunited With Stuffed Animal That Went Missing After Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting
The stuffed animal was a gift from Courtney Gelinas's grandfather, and she was "happy to have him back"
A little girl has been reunited with her beloved stuffed animal lost during Friday's Fort Lauderdale airport mass shooting after she got some help from the Broward Sheriff's Office.
BSO's Twitter page sent out a tweet Monday with a picture of the missing teddy bear named Rufus, asking the public to be on the lookout for the stuffed animal.
Deputies received a request from a page created by 10-year-old Courtney Gelinas' family asking the department to help them find the lost toy. The Twitter page @klariviere3 tweeted out "Looking for Rufus from Terminal 2 D8. Crying daughter cannot sleep. #FLLshooting help!"
On Tuesday, @klariviere3 tweeted that the stuffed animal had been found.
"Rufus has been located!! Thx for sharing everyone. One happy kid!" the tweet said.
Tens of thousands of items were left behind by panicked travelers Friday when accused lone gunman, Esteban Santiago, opened fire in the baggage claim area in Terminal 2.
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Apparently, Rufus, who dons a red onesie, was one of those prized possessions that got lost during the deadly rampage.
NBC 6 South Florida was there when Courtney was reunited with Rufus. She quickly wrapped her arms around the teddy bear.
"It's exciting. I'm happy to have him back," Courtney said.
The girl's family, who is visiting from Canada, said the stuffed animal was a gift from Courtney's grandfather when he passed away 10 years ago. The toy is a precious companion for the 10-year-old.
Courtney usually sleeps with it every night, and on top of all the stress she's been through since the airport rampage, being without the bear wasn't easy.
"Now you can sleep," her mother said at the reunion, hugging the pair.