Girl gets birthday presents returned after van mix-up

A 6-year-old girl from Farmers Branch now has all of her birthday presents back after her gifts were accidentally put in the wrong van.

Last week, Jen Benavides was shopping at a Kroger.

"Going to put my groceries in the back of my van and I thought I had someone else's van," said Jen. "I saw about 15 birthday presents."

At first, Jen thought someone was playing a joke, but there was a name on the gifts – Grace, with a last name that Jen and her husband, Oscar, recognized from mission trips to Kenya.

"I had no idea when we started searching, but I had this innate desire to make sure this little girl got her gifts," said Oscar.

"Sunday came, nothing; Monday, nothing," said Grace's mother, Margaret Kamau Njenga. "But every day, Grace kept praying, ‘I know God will make whoever has my gifts bring my gifts back."

Days of searching turned into dead ends until Oscar found Grace's name on a list of runners at a race in Carrollton, and assumed a parent would certainly be with her.

"I decided to look at the finish times when she finished the race and look at anybody else that finished at the same time, and I found two or three people, but only one with a Kenyan last name," said Oscar.

Then, Margaret got a phone call.

"My neighbor goes, ‘Margaret, there's a lady here talking about Grace's gifts,'" said Margaret.

"So I got on the phone with her and I said, ‘Is there any chance you are missing something from a birthday party?'" said Jen. "And immediately she went ‘Oh, my gosh!'"

The final piece to solving the mystery involves a business called Going Bonkers in Lewisville, where Gracie had her birthday party.

It turns out that Grace's father parked and then moved the family van.

Hours later, the Benavides family arrived in a van that's the same color and model and parked in the same spot where Grace's father had originally parked.

With the birthday party winding down, Grace's father forgot he'd moved the van and loaded the gifts in the wrong one.


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