Pilot Helps Reunite 9-Year-Old With Lost Doll Half A World Away

August 26, 2023

A pilot has played a pivotal role in reuniting a 9-year-old girl in Texas with her beloved lost doll, which was accidentally left on a plane in Tokyo, Japan three weeks ago.

pilot missing doll story
Valentina and her father | Credit: WFAA / ABC News

Valentina Dominguez thought she'd lost her "best friend" - an American Girl doll named Beatrice - forever.

"Beatrice was a big part of our lives for the past three or four years," her father Rudy Dominguez told WFAA.

"We checked our bags to see if maybe she was in there but we all remembered seeing her on the plane so once we did the search, didn't find her, we called the airline and then we sent an email to the airline looking for her," Dominguez recalled.

The family also posted about the missing doll on Facebook. The post eventually reached James Danen, a pilot for American Airlines who's based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and just so happens to fly to Tokyo often.

pilot reutnrs lost doll
Danen and Valentina | Credit: WFAA / ABC News

Danen said he reached out to Turkish Airlines' lost-and-found at Haneda Airport in Tokyo and was able to locate the missing doll after two tries. He then took photos with Beatrice in various airports and on flights as he carried her back to Texas.

On Aug. 21, Danen drove the doll to the Dominguez' home and handed it to Valentina.

"There's a lot of kindness in this world. He's a kind man. He said he would do it and followed through," Rudy Dominguez said about the pilot.

"It's my nature. I like helping people... that's just what I like doing," Danen said. "I was really glad I could do something nice for somebody."

Watch the good news story below.

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