Elf on the Shelf has been an annual tradition for the last five years in the Villahermosa household. But mom Lorraine was forced to get extra creative this year, after her purse was stolen—with her 8-year-old son Jovani's beloved elf Freddie inside.
"I was going crazy," the single mom told Inside Edition. "I knew I had a few things in the purse, but the most important was that stinking elf."
Why? Because Lorraine had "adopted" Freddie the Elf many years ago, and the company he hails from has since changed the design. Which meant simply replacing the little guy was out of the question.
When December 1 arrived and Freddie didn't show up like he did every other year, Jovani was devastated. Luckily, his mom's purse was found the same day—although poor Freddie had become part of the investigation and was stuck in an evidence locker!
Lorraine explained the situation to one of the police officers, Sgt. Jonathan Perock, who then snapped a picture with the Elf so Lorraine could bring it back to Jovani and tell him that Freddie was on a special assignment to help the police find her purse.
Meet Detective Freddie:
It's kind of brilliant, right?
"A child shouldn't have to be exposed to something like a purse being stolen and have to handle that," Sgt. Perock explained. "We wanted to handle it and do it quickly so the mom had an explanation to her child."
How much do you love this guy? He is really committing to his role! And later that night, Perock decided to up his Elf game even further by taking a few more shots with the little Santa-helper, including one where the dynamic duo is studying a police lineup of Christmas villains—check out Heat Mizer and Snow Mizer down there on the bottom right:
Then, of course, the sarge and his sidekick had to discuss the details of the case:
And to top it all off, Freddie became an official "honorary investigator" with a badge and business card to prove it.
Detective Freddie the Elf hails from the Office of Spreading Christmas Cheer, of course!
When Jovani saw the pictures the next day, his mom said he bought the whole crazy story.
"There are not enough words that I can use to Thank You," Lorraine wrote to Sgt. Perock on Facebook. "Turning what was seemingly a terrible situation into an awesome adventure for Freddie and putting a smile on my son's face is priceless!"
A Christmas miracle, indeed!