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Woman received cremated remains in bear at White Elephant gift exchange

HOUSTON (KTRK/KXAN) — Rakhi Desai knew she would probably come home from a White Elephant gift exchange with something she didn’t expect, but she never would have thought it would be a teddy bear filled with cremated remains.

The Houston woman had been with friends, and each brought a goofy gift.

“There’s always some sort of funny adult calendar or cookbook that goes around,” Desai told CNN affiliate KTRK. 

By the end of the game, she got the bear, took it home and thought nothing of it until a few weeks later when she decided to look into the bear that had a heart stitched on its chest.

Its tag read “I hope I can bring you comfort in whatever life brings your way.” Its paw had the words “Neptune Society,” on it, so she started there.

As she inspected the bear, she felt something inside it like pebbles or rocks. Then, suddenly, the meaning of the tag on the bear made sense. It held human remains.

Her friend had gotten it from an estate sale, and the Neptune Society doesn’t track who orders the bears. Still, Desai hopes she can find the family related to the name on the bear’s tag.

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