September 29, 2023 4:32 PM

Pilot Flies from Tokyo to Texas to Reunite Girl with Her Lost ‘Best Friend’ Doll

Valentina Dominguez's cherished doll, Beatrice, returns home after pilot James Danen undertook a dedicated search effort. (Image: Shutterstock)

Valentina Dominguez’s cherished doll, Beatrice, returns home after pilot James Danen undertook a dedicated search effort. (Image: Shutterstock)

Texas girl Valentina Dominguez is joyfully reunited with her beloved doll Beatrice thanks to veteran pilot James Danen who flew from Texas to Tokyo to find it.

Nine-year-old Valentina Dominguez who hails from Texas’ Plano was sad because she lost her “best friend” Beatrice forever when she left her on a plane in Tokyo. Her family were not able to console her.

Rudy Dominguez, Valentina’s father, speaking to news outlet WFAA, says Beatrice was a big part of their lives for the past three or four years. “I am feeling sad because she is very sad,” Rudy was quoted as saying.

Beatrice is an American doll which the Dominguezes left in the plane. They had searched all their bags and even called the airport and the airlines hoping they would find the doll. The family recalled the last time they saw her was on a plane.

The family trip ended three weeks ago and by this time the Dominguezes left hopes of finding Beatrice. However, an online post led James Danen of Richardson, a pilot with American Airlines, to launch a search for it.

“It’s my nature. I like helping people… that’s just what I like doing,” Danen was quoted as saying by WFAA. Danen has been a pilot with American Airlines since 1993 and flies to Tokyo often. “I was really glad I could do something nice for somebody,” Danen further added.

Danen connected with the lost and found section of Turkish Airlines at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo but he could not locate Beatrice first. The pilot veteran found her successfully when he attempted to locate the doll for the second time.

He took pictures of the doll in airports and flights as he returned home. Danen lives only a few miles away from the Dominguezes.

He drove to their home on August 21 and handed the doll to a very happy and excited Valentina along with some treats from Japan and a map that showed where all Beatrice had been.

“Thank you! Was she well-behaved on the flight?” Valentina asked Jim. “There’s a lot of kindness in this world. He’s a kind man. He said he would do it and followed through,” the father said.

The 9-year-old has also learned a lesson about taking responsibility for one’s own belongings.

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