CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — Following an extensive investigation, Cumberland detectives have determined that Santa is real after all.
It all started when the Cumberland Police Department received a letter from Scarlett Doumato asking for their help.
“I took a sample of a cookie and carrots that I left for Santa and the reindeer on Christmas Eve and was wondering if you could take a sample of DNA and see if Santa is real?” Doumato wrote.
Doumato sent two zip-lock bags along with her letter, which contained a partially eaten cookie and two half-eaten carrots.
“I feel like since he bit it, he might have left DNA,” she added.
The “evidence” was sent to the Rhode Island Department of Health for analysis, though their results were inconclusive.
“There were no complete matches to anyone in the Combined DNA Index System that is used to help identify matches with other results across the country,” the health department said.
But Cumberland Police Chief Matthew Benson said the department wasn’t satisfied with those results.
“We decided to look into it a little further,” Benson said.
Benson unveiled a mountain of evidence during a media briefing Wednesday that proves Santa Claus is indeed real.
That evidence included a surveillance image of nine “reindeer” from a neighbor’s yard and a unique set of fingerprints from a person of interest.
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The investigation garnered international attention, according to the police chief.
“Every state in the United States has covered your case,” Benson said, adding that he’s received inquiries from as far as Argentina.
Benson said Doumato’s quest for the truth “achieved exactly what Santa Claus represents.”
“What you have achieved on an international level is truly unparalleled,” Benson said. “Undoubtedly, you will someday grow to understand the enormity of what your simple inquiry and actions provided to so many.”
“You brought a smile to millions, and I mean millions, with your small gesture of human innocence and wonder,” the police chief continued. “Because of you, for even a moment, they were transported back in time years ago when they were you. They were brought back to a time of innocence, a time of excitement and a time of hope. They were brought back to when they were their own Scarlett. For many, being brought back to a wonderful time of unforgettable memories is more needed than perhaps any other point in our history.”
Doumato was showered with gifts from police departments across the country, including the North Pole Police Department in Alaska.
Benson even presented Doumato with a customized police badge.
“I don’t know if you know, but we’re hiring,” he told Doumato with a smile. “I’ll give you an application.”