CUMBERLAND, R.I. (WPRI) — Following an extensive investigation, authorities in Rhode Island have determined that Santa is real after all.
It all started when the Cumberland Police Department received a letter from 10-year-old 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. She included two bags that contained a partially eaten cookie and two half-eaten carrots.
“I feel like since he bit it, he might have left DNA,” she added.
Upon receiving the letter, Cumberland Police Chief Matthew Benson forwarded the “evidence” to the Rhode Island Department of Health for analysis. Unfortunately, the results were inconclusive.
The health department did confirm there was a partial match to a “1947 case centered around 34th Street in New York City” — a miracle, you could say. While testing the carrots, officials say they were able to find “DNA matching closely with Rangifer tarandus, more commonly known as reindeer.”
But Benson said the department wasn’t satisfied with those results.
During a media briefing Wednesday, with Doumato in attendance, Benson unveiled a mountain of evidence to prove Santa Claus is indeed real. That evidence included a surveillance image of nine “reindeer” from a neighbor’s yard, a unique set of fingerprints from a person of interest, and an interview with the suspect.
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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 unapparelled,” Benson said. “Undoubtedly, you will someday grow to understand the enormity of what your simple inquiry and actions provided to so many.”
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.”