A small Californian community was spooked after porcelain dolls were left anonymously on the doorsteps of homes, eerily resembling young girls who live there.
But now a local woman has admitted she was responsible, insisting her actions were not meant to scare anyone.
The dolls, some wearing fuzzy slippers or frilly gowns, turned up at more than a half-dozen homes in San Clemente last week, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jeff Hallock.
Interviews with householders led authorities to the woman, who attended church with many of them.
“She felt like some of the girls would enjoy the dolls,” Hallock said.
After delivering a few of the surprise gifts, the woman noticed on social media that some families were frightened, he said. She stopped leaving the dolls when some parents called for a criminal investigation.
“She felt really embarrassed,” Hallock said.
No charges were filed, and the sheriff’s department has closed its investigation, chalking it up to an act of goodwill gone wrong, Hallock said.