Couple says stuffed animal containing son’s ashes still missing

If found, an altered battery pack would be a giveaway it’s the lost stuffed elephant.
An Iowa couple vacationing at Walt Disney World in Florida lost a stuffed bear that contains...
An Iowa couple vacationing at Walt Disney World in Florida lost a stuffed bear that contains their son's ashes.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - An Iowa couple says a stuffed animal containing their son’s ashes is still missing after it was lost at Disney World.

Liz Atkinson was on a trip in Florida with her husband and son, Sebastyan, visiting the beaches and theme parks when the stuffed animal went missing.

“I remember Sebastyan holding him, but my husband got off the boat with him first and he’s the one that buckled him,” Atkinson said. “Part of me just wonders, did it fall out in the parking lot, at the orange ramp at Disney Springs and we just didn’t know?”

After the stuffed animal went missing, Atkinson took to Facebook where she said hundreds of people have messaged her in an effort to find the stuffed elephant, Bruce.

“If I had all the money in the world, I would give it to whoever found him, honestly,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson’s other son, Gabryel, died just days away from his 8th birthday due to medical issues.

“Bruce has been at every hospitalization,” Atkinson said. “There’s far too many to count. He’s been with my son at every procedure. My son that’s surviving holds Bruce and cries when he’s missing his brother.”

Atkinson and her family placed Gabryel’s ashes inside the elephant and took it to Disney World in honor of him since he had always wanted to go.

While many people have reached out, Atkinson said the stuffed animal doesn’t have the original battery pack inside.

“The elephant one has a long battery, but we had replaced it with a battery pack from a different animal and that battery pack is more egg-shaped,” Atkinson said. “So even if someone removed the ashes, the battery pack would be a giveaway of it being Bruce.”

Atkinson said people have been spending their whole days off retracing her steps and talking to people to try and get the stuffed elephant back to her and her family.

“Hopefully, wherever he is, he gets back home,” Atkinson said.