Heartbroken Little Girl Reunited With Stuffed Monkey

Little Sierra Pucevich has a best friend—her stuffed animal monkey.

The 6-year-old takes her beloved stuffed-animal named Monkey everywhere, from family vacations to work trips with dad and even to attend Pittsburgh Panthers basketball games, a location where the stuffed animal got misplaced on Jan. 2.

“Oh my God, you would have thought she lost one of her parents,” Sierra’s father, Jeffrey Pucevich, told ABC News about his daughter's reaction, before she was reunited with the stuffed animal. “She’s had this monkey since she was born. It’s been everywhere. To Myrtle Beach, to Virginia Beach, to the game, I’m in medical sales, it’s been on a lot of travels I’ve been on, it’s part of the family I guess you could say.”

Sierra was so excited she was featured on the Petersen Events Center jumbotron with her cheerleader pom poms during the big game that she handed Monkey to her dad as they were leaving for him to hold onto, along with his car keys, a water bottle and a whole bunch of other items, while she called her mom and grandparents to tell them of her moment of fame.

But after about 20 minutes of driving back towards home in Oakland, Pennsylvania, they noticed that Monkey was missing.

“Walking out somehow it just dropped and I didn’t realize that,” said Pucevich. “She was all excited being on the jumbotron and when she got off the phone she said, ‘Dad where’s Monkey?’ It was already like 20 minutes past and I pulled over and called the Peterson Center and their security center and they didn’t have it.”

He drove all the way home to drop his daughter off before turning around to immediately return to the parking lot to retrace their footsteps.

“I drove all the way back and kept looking for it,” he said. “It was freezing. And nothing. There was no Monkey.”

Sierra was absolutely devastated.

“I had to tell my daughter it’s gone and that was the worst moment in her life so far,” Pucevich said.

But then social media intervened.

“We were walking down a big hill outside the arena and my kids were just running around and we looked back and they weren’t with us, and they had spotted this monkey,” Bethany Brown, of Pittsburgh, recalled. “They said, ‘What do we do?’ and I said, ‘Well let’s see if we can find the owner.’ We took a picture and posted it and it started going crazy on Facebook.”

Within hours the photo had been shared more than 3,000 times, even reaching Sierra’s grandmother, who immediately contacted Brown.

“The grandma was able to tell me the brand name on the tag, so she gave me her son’s number and told me to call him,” said Brown.

The moment Pucevich shared the good news with Sierra, “She was ecstatic,” he recalled. “The energy level, she couldn’t fall asleep.”

Brown’s two sons, Malcom and Jameson, could clearly tell the monkey was very loved by its owner and were thrilled they were able to help get it returned.

“I was really excited that they were sharing so much concern,” said Brown. “It was worn down and had a finger-sized hole in the tail so you could just imagine how much someone sat there and loved it, and it made me really happy how much they cared to get it home.”

Pucevich thinks Monkey's return, was just as much about fate and faith as it was Facebook.

“There is a saint you can pray to for lost things, Saint Anthony, and My wife and I said a prayer on Saturday night, and we had my daughter say it on Sunday, and then it’s just so wild how all these things work out,” he explained. “The love and affection this monkey got where it was shared thousands of times, and then saying a simple prayer to Saint Anthony and the power of prayer, it’s a nice story for once.”

While Monkey was away spending some “spa time” with the Browns, he enjoyed a number of fun activities. Take a look at all his exciting adventures.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting