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Poster child: Dede, the sloth stuffie, returned after ‘missing sloth’ flyer campaign

A "missing stuffie" poster shows a plush sloth named Dede, offering a $50 reward and whereabouts of last seen 03/27/2024.
The family of Dede, a missing sloth stuffie, offered a $50 reward for the return of the beloved toy. | Source: Illustration by Jesse Rogala/The Standard; photo courtesy Maura Tuohy

Update: Based on The Standard’s reporting, a neighbor spotted Dede and returned the stuffed animal to Ronin Di Muro and his family on Monday. The family issued the $50 reward for Dede, gave the stuffed animal a bath and the stuffie will now wear a collar whenever he leaves the house, Maura Tuohy said.

A young boy stands outside holding a plush grey sloth toy, with sunlight casting shadows on the pavement.
Seven-year-old San Franciscan Ronin Di Muro is pictured reunited with his favorite sloth stuffed animal, Dede. Ronin’s mom, Maura Tuohy, said Dede will now wear a collar whenever he leaves the home. | Source: Courtesy Maura Tuohy

They’ve retraced their footsteps, rifled through trash cans and even scoured all the trees in their neighborhood, but Dede—a stuffed sloth—can not be found anywhere. 

Over the past week, Maura Tuohy and her husband, Mathieu Di Muro, have searched high and low around NoPa for the gray stuffed dog toy that their 7-year-old son, Ronin Di Muro, has adopted as a fuzzy companion and playmate. The couple had hoped to track down the creature by trash day, but the garbage truck has come and gone. So now they’re hoping a good ole-fashioned flyer campaign—and aid from chronically online locals—can help them reunite their bereft eldest child with Dede, which, jokingly, they consider a mischievous “fifth member of the family.” 

“He’s kind of like our family’s comic relief,” Tuohy said. “Dede has a little bit of a reputation of jumping on people when they don’t want to be jumped on. ... My son has imbued him with so much personality.”

A child in a red superhero costume with a mask and flash-like emblems holds a stuffed sloth toy.
Seven-year-old Ronin Di Muro is desperately searching for his favorite stuffed animal, Dede. | Source: Courtesy Maura Tuohy

So much so that Dede’s thrown fantastical pizza parties and food fights—he’s been sewn back together 18 times due to injuries from his various escapades—and in the real world, he’s accompanied the family on international trips to Australia and Canada as Ronin’s plus-one. “So Dede really has this wonderful, adventurous life, and I feel like we're kind of along for the ride,” Tuohy said. 

Adding to that adventure is the family’s now dogged—and some might say over the top—search for the stuffed animal, which began in earnest on March 27 after the family noticed that the plushie tree mammal wasn’t glued to Ronin’s hip when he returned home from school.

After the initial shock—“there’s definitely been tears,” Tuohy said—the family figured that Dede had probably been left in class or was somewhere in the family’s home. But when the stuffed animal wasn’t to be found under any cushion, that’s when they “expanded the search radius.”

A stuffed sloth toy peeks through a hole in a makeshift structure wrapped in foil insulation.
The Tuohy Di Muro family hopes to reunite Dede, the stuffed sloth, with their bereft eldest son. | Source: Courtesy Maura Tuohy

“I have a lot of mom guilt,” Tuohy said. “It happened on my watch.”  

The family posted calls for location help on Facebook and Nextdoor, then printed out flyers, advertising a $50 reward, to distribute around their neighborhood and Ronin’s school in Haight-Ashbury—the 7-year-old even took the flyers door-to-door. Then, the family finally received some tips. Dede had been seen lying on the sidewalk at Fell and Scott streets and on the block between Fell and Hayes, but the trail has since run cold. 

Tuohy theorizes that since Dede is a dog toy, he may have been picked up by a neighborhood canine for a good chew. “But we're also still hopeful that maybe he is still in the neighborhood, and someone's taken him in and is taking good care of him,” she said.  

As for Ronin, he’s putting on a brave face, but the return of Dede “would mean everything,” he said. 

And for those who think that the flyer campaign for a missing stuffed sloth is a bit much, Tuohy had this to say: “Do they have kids?”

Those with tips on Dede’s whereabouts can write to 

Christina Campodonico can be reached at