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Authorities say dolls were meant to send goodwill, not chill, through California neighbourhood

This image, date not known, provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows one of several dolls that have been found left on doorsteps in the last week in San Clemente, Calif. As many as eight homes have had porcelain dolls left on their doorsteps. Families in each of the homes where porcelain dolls were left, voiced concern that the dolls resembled their daughters. The investigation continues in an attempt to discover their origin. (AP Photo/Orange County Sheriff's Department)

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This image, date not known, provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Department shows one of several dolls that have been found left on doorsteps in the last week in San Clemente, Calif. As many as eight homes have had porcelain dolls left on their doorsteps. Families in each of the homes where porcelain dolls were left, voiced concern that the dolls resembled their daughters. The investigation continues in an attempt to discover their origin. (AP Photo/Orange County Sheriff's Department)

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - They sent a creepy feeling through several Southern California families, but authorities say the person who left porcelain dolls on doorsteps didn't mean any harm.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that someone had left the dolls wearing nightgowns and lace dresses at as many as eight homes in a San Clemente neighbourhood this week.

The families were worried because they felt each doll resembled a young girl who lived in the house, setting off an investigation and call for public help in finding who had placed them.

But later Thursday the sheriff's department said it found the person responsible and the intent had been goodwill. No further details were released.

Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock told City News Service the dolls and their apparent resemblance to real girls left families feeling "creepy."

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