Actor Ryan Reynolds is hoping to help out a fellow Canadian by offering $5,000 to anyone who can help Mara Soriano recover a missing teddy bear stolen from her home on Friday. The Build-a-Bear stuffed animal includes an audio recording of the final message her mother, Marilyn Soriano, sent her just before she died of cancer in June 2019. Soriano said the bear was stolen while she and her fiancee were moving into their new apartment in Vancouver.
When the couple was unloading their H-Haul van, a friend called Soriano to say a van hit them near the new apartment, Soriano told CBC News. Soriano rushed to help her friend and leaned a bag she was carrying against a van. She believes someone stole the bag while she was helping her friend. "It just makes me feel devastated," Soriano told the outlet. "I'm absolutely crushed."
Vancouver: $5,000 to anyone who returns this bear to Mara. Zero questions asked. I think we all need this bear to come home. https://t.co/L4teoxoY50— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 25, 2020
Soriano's mother recorded the message just before she went into hospice care. She said the recording was the "last memory" she has of her mother's normal speaking voice. Although the bag contained important documents, an iPad, and a Nintendo Switch, the only thing Soriano cares about is the irreplaceable bear and its audio recording.
According to Soriano, the apartment building's security camera footage does show a man picking up the bag and fleeing the scene. She filed a police report and has asked anyone with information to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Monday, she published the security camera footage on Twitter.
"It's a reminder of home," Soriano, whose family moved to Canada when she was 9, told CBC. "The bear has a message in it in Filipino. It says 'I love you,' but in our language. So it's very specific and very unique. I just really want to find my bear. That's all that I care about."
UPDATE: ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF THE THEFT! When I dropped the bag, my fiance was still in the alley, not inside, so it would have been right beside the uHaul cabin. This happened just after he pulled into the loading bay. pic.twitter.com/6eoGzVVr2t— mara soriano | FIND MAMABEAR VANCOUVER (@drawmaradraw) July 27, 2020
Reynolds noticed Soriano's story, bringing her quest to his 16.9 million followers. On Monday, a CBC reporter said she was joining Soriano to search Vancouver for the bear and said she would like a bottle of Reynolds' Aviation gin if they find it. "If you #FindMarasBear, I'll send you so much @AviationGin gin it'll be affected by the tide," Reynolds replied. Canadian TV host George Strombolupolus and director Rawson Thurber also added $5,000 each to the pot.