My O is safely home, and no ransom was needed.
Earlier this week, a manilla envelope marked, 'Occupant' arrived at my door, and inside wrapped in tissue, was the O stolen from my Christmas decoration set of letters spelling out NOEL.
Also inside, a note from the Alphabet Shelter for Wayward Vowels, which explained how my errant O had been dropped off at the door by a woman with Collingwood on her breath and regret in her heart.
It was very, very clever.
And now that I'm more sure of the culprit, I'm already planning the payback.