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By Jim Shilander

One of the dolls left on the porch of a family in Talega.
One of the dolls left on the porch of a family in Talega.

Instances of mysterious porcelain dolls appearing on family doorsteps that brought San Clemente national headlines Thursday appears to be a case of good intentions being misinterpreted as something sinister.

In recent days, eight families in the San Clemente development of Talega had porcelain dolls left on their front porches. Each doll, it was reported to authorities, looked similar to a young, elementary aged girl living in the home, ultimately leading to an investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

OCSD officials collected all eight dolls and proceeded with an investigation into where the dolls were manufactured or purchased, said department spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock.

Word spread quickly Thursday morning, with news outlets from Los Angeles to Kansas City and New York reporting the strange findings.

Investigators met with concerned families Thursday who questioned the motive of the doll deliverer. That meeting led investigators to interview a woman living in the neighborhood who admitted to leaving the dolls, Hallock said. She claimed to have left the dolls as gifts, he said.

Another one of the dolls left on a family's porch in Talega.
Another one of the dolls left on a family’s porch in Talega. One Talega mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said her family

One Talega mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said her family received a doll last week sometime during the late morning or early afternoon. She initially thought it was a prank until she began hearing about other families receiving the dolls.

The family eventually turned the doll into authorities once word of other dolls got out.

According to officials, no crime was committed.

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comments (10)

  • get mike and frank from American pickers to see if those are worth $$$$. they might make the trip out to Talladega!

  • What a sad comment on our society that people thought that there was an ulterior motive here. Why can’t people believe the best of each other? Even something as innocent as giving a child a doll can be twisted into something sinister? I think those parents owe that older woman an apology.

    • If the dolls had been brought to the homes and presented to the children, the parents would likely have graciously accepted. When someone leaves something anonymously, and when that something is a doll that resembles your young child, any prudent parent would be suspicious.

  • What a moron that woman was. She simply should have alerted the parents so they are aware and they could have discovered the dolls with them!

    In this day and age, you have to think.

  • No, she should apologize to the parents. Common sense. She wasn’t trying to surprise the parents, but the little girls; hence have the parents in on the surprise!


  • This is an embarrassment to our community that mothers would be this concerned over gifts being left for their daughters. Some people see too many movies. An apology to the gift giver would be appropriate.

  • This story has reached us here in Canada. I have taken the time to read all of the comments posted on our news website. 99% of the comments were in support of the generous elderly woman. How sad that the paranoia in the US has come to such an insane level. Do you not even know your neigbours well enough to be able to talk to them and find out for yourselves who delivered the dolls before calling in the police. Guns or okay…dolls are not! WOW!!

    BTW… I lived in the states for 12.5 years and was astonished by the distrust and lack of community. I am so happy to back in Canada, where we get to know our neighbours and help each other, sharing things, looking after the seniors next door etc…

    Americans need a change….

  • how sweet thank her

  • The fear of unknown can be very haunting, especially in regard to children. This woman should have followed “parental code” by communicating with the parents of the girls. It is astounding to me that she chose not to. A very poor error in judgement and a lack of maturity on her part.

  • Wait folks living in a gated community exhibit signs of paranoid narcissistic disorder? I am shocked. We should do away with gated communities in San Clemente, they are elitist and run contrary to the principles America was founded upon.

comments (10)

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