Kidnapped life-size ‘Elf on the Shelf’ safely returned

DEERFIELD, N.H. — After a manhunt for a life-sized “Elf on the Shelf,” a small town’s Christmas mascot has been returned safely.

Zippy the Elf is a celebrity of sorts in the small town Deerfield, which only has 4200 residents.

Three-years ago, Captain Cindy McHugh of the Deerfield Rescue Squad crafted Zippy with her daughter Laura Hall.

They were inspired by the Christmas tradition “Elf on the Shelf” where families move a small elf around their homes each night to watch over them.

The Deerfield Rescue Squad moves Zippy around the town each night and posts about his adventures on Facebook.

“We place a clue on the rescue squads page as to where he is and then people are invited to find him, post pictures, pose with him,” John Dubiansky from the Deerfield Rescue Squad said.

Additionally, the Rescue Squad uses their posts about Zippy to help deliver important safety lessons, like how to perform CPR.

This town icon was kidnapped Monday during broad daylight and remained missing for two days.

Deerfield Rescue Squad expressed their concern for local children who enjoy finding Zippy around town.

“This is not a joke or a game, we are very upset about someone choosing to ruin the fun for Deerfield’s children,” they wrote in a Facebook post.

Some of these children recorded videos begging for Zippy’s safe return.

“If he just ends up here at the fire station, we’re not gonna ask questions, we want to get him back so we can continue to have the magic for the kids in town,” Captain McCugh told CNN.

After two days of searching for Zippy, the Deerfield Rescue Squad is finally able to say, “our holiday magic is back!”

They posted pictures of Zippy on Facebook to show everyone that he is safe and sound.

The Rescue Squad is honoring their promise not to ask any questions. They only revealed that Zippy was “a little wet, but safe,” and they thanked everyone who helped Zippy return home.