SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego family needs help reuniting a man with a beloved stuffed animal that brings him comfort everywhere he goes.
Alex Bartleet, who is on the autism spectrum, received a "Scooby Doo" doll as a gift from his father, Bill, shortly before his death in 2013.
Since then, Alex has taken the stuffed animal everywhere with him. Scooby helps Alex stay happy and relaxed during fun activities, but the doll has also accompanied him during surgeries, when Alex puts Scooby behind his head to help him relax.
Alex's brother Zak is a photographer at FOX 5, and the Bartleet family is a staple at the San Diego Race for Autism and other local events.
The doll was last seen at a Costco in Carlsbad on Nov. 27. Alex was with an organized group shopping for Thanksgiving when the Bartleet family believes someone holding the doll set it down somewhere in the store.
Since then, Scooby hasn't been seen, and the stuffed animal hasn't turned up at the Costco lost and found. The family is hoping someone may have picked up the doll for themselves without realizing its significance and is asking for help returning Scooby to Alex.
In the meantime, Alex has "Scooby Two," a new doll provided by his family. But the significance of the original doll and all the memories associated with it isn't lost on Alex, who dearly misses his friend.
With help from his mom, Alex even wrote a letter to Santa reading:
All I want for Christmas is Scooby to come home."
Anyone with information about the Scooby doll is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.