JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An Illinois family is on the hunt for a very special teddy bear that went missing in Jacksonville over the weekend when they were in town for the Hella Mega Tour.
JC Bear was last seen at the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Jacksonville Saturday night. Somewhere between the parking garage and their room, the family noticed he was missing.
The toy is much more than just a child's plaything. He has been a part of the family for 15 years.
You see, 15 years ago when Kelly and Scott Childs were trying to have a baby, Kelly had a miscarriage. The couple was understandably crushed, so Scott bought the bear for Kelly and they named him "Junior Childs." After a couple more miscarriages, Kelly finally became pregnant, but when they went to the doctor for an ultrasound, they could not find a heartbeat.
The doctor wanted Kelly to schedule a D and C, but she refused. Three weeks later, she went back to the doctor, and they heard a heartbeat.
Fourteen years later, Riley Childs is now JC Bear's owner. He goes everywhere with her the family says, and his travels are well documented on his very own Instagram account, with trips ranging from Canada to Disney World to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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"He may look like a scruffy little stuffed bear, but he is so much more to us!" Riley's Aunt Katie Logsdon said.
The family was on their first vacation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Myrtle Beach, when they realized the Hella Mega Tour was happening just a few hours away in Jacksonville, with much cheaper tickets than they could purchase closer to home in Chicago. So, they extended their stay a few days and drove down.
Kelly says they aren't sure if they dropped JC Bear in the parking lot or set him down in the hotel when they stopped to get a drink, but the next morning, they realized he was gone. The family spent hours checking with housekeeping, putting up flyers, asking other guests leaving the hotel if they had seen him and even digging in nearby garbage cans just to see if he had been thrown out.
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"We're willing to do pretty much anything to see if we can find him somewhere," Kelly said.
The family is more than willing to pay to have JC Bear shipped home to Illinois.
"Yeah we could probably find another one like him online or something, but it wouldn't be JC," Logsdon said. "He wouldn't have the tattered, dirty, used-to-be yellow ribbon around his somewhat floppy neck. He wouldn't have the matted, well snuggled fur, the tiny imperfections that make him OUR JC Bear."
Anyone who has seen JC Bear is asked to contact the Childs family by calling 630-488-6823 or 615-512-6430. You can also email email@example.com.