Woman who left creepy porcelain dolls outside 8 California homes has been found

Police in Orange County, Calif., said they've solved the mystery behind a series of porcelain dolls that were left on the doorsteps of homes where little girls lived. (Reuters)

An elderly woman who left up to eight porcelain dolls on the doorsteps of several Southern California homes has been found.

The dolls began appearing at doorsteps, some in pristine suburban neighborhoods, in the last week, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Some were dressed in period clothing, and strangely the recipients claimed they resembled the young, elementary school girls who lived there. Fearing a horror movie plot was in the works, parents began contacting the police.

“You don’t hear or see anything like that,” one mom told KTLA. “Only in the movies. … We’re in a bubble here in south Orange County.”

Orange County Lt. Jeff Hallock told KTLA that the pattern was “creepy or very unusual” so they began collecting the dolls and interviewing the affected families.

There was no note or threatening message, just a series of porcelain dolls being sent to the homes of more than a half dozen young girls, some of whom attended the same elementary school, police told KTLA.

The last doll was placed outside a home on Tuesday, and police began seeking the public’s help for clues.

By Thursday night, they announced that they had found the culprit.

“Following conversation and questioning of several parents, information was learned that focused on a female adult who lived in the local community and attended church with many of the impacted families,” according to a release from the police department.

They located the woman, and she admitted dropping off the dolls, which she simply wanted to give away, KTLA said.

“Investigators have concluded that her motivation was out of goodwill and that she intended it as a kind gesture,” police said.

Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at abby.phillip@washpost.com. On Twitter: @abbydphillip

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