Investigators in San Clemente said they were able to track the doll donor when they learned that all the families who got dolls attended the same church. It turned out to be a woman whose children had outgrown dolls and wanted to pass them on.
Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said the woman had consciously matched the appearance of the dolls to the girls in each household.
"Because her intentions were good, she felt embarrassed at the fear she instilled in the community," Hallock said. "She just thought she was being nice."
Hallock said most "just breathed a sigh of relief" when they learned the motive for the gifts.
While the woman broke no laws, Hallock said an investigation was launched because of the level of anxiety in the community.