By Jim Shilander

Instances of mysterious porcelain dolls appearing on family doorsteps that brought San Clemente national headlines Thursday appears to be a case of good intentions being misinterpreted as something sinister.

In recent days, eight families in the San Clemente development of Talega had porcelain dolls left on their front porches. Each doll, it was reported to authorities, looked similar to a young, elementary aged girl living in the home, ultimately leading to an investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

OCSD officials collected all eight dolls and proceeded with an investigation into where the dolls were manufactured or purchased, said department spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock.

Word spread quickly Thursday morning, with news outlets from Los Angeles to Kansas City and New York reporting the strange findings.

Investigators met with concerned families Thursday who questioned the motive of the doll deliverer. That meeting led investigators to interview a woman living in the neighborhood who admitted to leaving the dolls, Hallock said. She claimed to have left the dolls as gifts, he said.

One Talega mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said her family received a doll last week sometime during the late morning or early afternoon. She initially thought it was a prank until she began hearing about other families receiving the dolls.

The family eventually turned the doll into authorities once word of other dolls got out.

According to officials, no crime was committed.

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