New Jersey Turnpike reuniting lost teddy bear with boy

OLDMANS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike is reuniting a New York boy with the teddy bear that he lost on a road trip to North Carolina.

The 12-year-old's mother, Julissa Viana, of New City, New York, tweeted that the bear was missing when the family reached the Outer Banks on Aug. 6. She said the family had stopped at one of the turnpike's service areas and the bear likely fell out.

"I guess it was my husband's fault when he was sorting out the belongings that he didn't notice the bear had fallen out," said Viana.

Her son, Alex Hernandez, has had "Beary" since he was a baby.

"I was devastated and very sad," he said after arriving in North Carolina and learning "Beary" was gone.

Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney saw the tweet and asked the patron services office to check with southbound service areas. The staff at the Clara Barton Service Area in Oldmans Township found the bear and Feeney tweeted a photo.

"The response by the turnpike team was really terrific," Viana said.

Her son said he'll "keep a good eye" on the bear to make sure he "doesn't slip out of my reach."

The authority is mailing the bear to the family's New York home.


Associated Press radio correspondent Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.