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Thread: Serenity Dennard (9) missing in subzero temps

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Serenity Dennard (9) missing in subzero temps



    The girl who has been missing since Sunday morning ran away from staff at a residential youth home near Rockerville, the organization?s executive director said at a press conference Monday morning.

    Serenity Dennard, 9, was playing in the gym inside the Black Hills Children's Home before noon, Bill Colson, executive director of the Children?s Home Society, said as he stood in front of the search and rescue command center in the parking lot of the facility on South Rockerville Road.

    Dennard and three other children were being supervised by two staff members when one of the other children ran away, Colson said. As a staffer ran after that child, Dennard then took off herself. Because the remaining staffer was still supervising two other children, they stayed put and called for help rather than follow Dennard.

    Other staff soon arrived to find her, but to no avail.

    "By the time we could get on her trail she was out of sight," Colson said.

    Colson said staff then immediately called 911 for help.

    "Our job is to work with young kids that need help and we?re very careful about keeping track of them and where they are at all times. Unfortunately once in a while they get away from us. It?s very, very rare. I don?t remember another situation like this one where a child has been gone this long," he said.

    "That's not uncommon that kids try to get away once in a while, and that's why we supervise them closely," Colson said.

    A staff member can supervise up to six children at a time, but the Children's Home tries to have a lower ratio, Colson said. When Dennard ran away, it was a lower ratio of one staffer per two children.

    The Children's Home Society is a private nonprofit that provides residential treatment and programs for children with emotional or behavioral needs, and victims of domestic violence, abuse and neglect, or other trauma. Colson said due to privacy concerns, he can't say how Dennard arrived at the facility or of which program she is part.

    Dennard was last seen leaving the facility around 10:45 a.m. but a couple ? a man and a woman in their late 20s or early 30s driving a pickup truck ? saw her soon after, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Monday afternoon.

    The couple was cutting wood near Foster Gulch and South Rockerville Road and spoke with staff from the Children's Home on Sunday between 10:30 am and 11:30 am, the release said. They may have been the last people to have seen Denard, and deputies would like to speak with the couple to determine a timeline and learn which direction Dennard was travelling in.

    When Dennard was first reported missing, a smaller group of search and rescue personnel arrived, said Kevin Thom, Pennington County Sheriff. He said it's best to start with a smaller group so the dogs can pick up a scent or track.

    "You get too many people in there, it gets chaotic and all of a sudden you trample any potential trails or evidence," he said.

    Dogs alerted to "areas of interest," said Tammy Stadel, team leader for Pennington County Search and Rescue. "Unfortunately, none of those leads have turned anything up for us."

    More staff arrived later and searched until 10 p.m Sunday, Thom said. While a plane couldn't be used Sunday due to the snow, a plane with the Civil Air Patrol was circling the skies about the facility Monday morning.

    "We have the amount of help we need right now,? Thom said of the more than 60 people, plus four dogs, searching for Dennard by foot, plane and land vehicles on Monday. In addition to Pennington County deputies and search and rescue, Custer County Search and Rescue, Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, the Rapid City fire and police departments, and other agencies are assisting in the search.

    Dennard was last seen on the road in front of the facility, Thom said.

    Thom said while no situation is being ruled out, such as Dennard being picked up by someone driving on the road, there is no evidence she was taken by anyone. Amber Alerts require a suspect or suspect vehicle.

    "We don't have that in this case, indicating that she was abducted or anything," he said.

    Thom said team members have contacted the few neighbors that surround the rural facility. "We encourage them to check around a haystack, a wood pile, in their outbuildings."
    Colson said it's unlikely that Dennard arranged to have someone pick her up.

    "It would be very unlikely for her to have the ability to contact a family member without our staff knowing about it and being present for the conversation," he said.
    Civilians should not try to search for Dennard because they could hurt themselves and hamper the search, officials said.

    "The last thing that we need is to have two operations occurring if somebody else were to get injured or unaccounted for," said Karl Jegeris, chief of the Rapid City Police Department.

    People trying to help would "significantly" harm the search plan and management, Stadel said. She said search and rescue teams use GPS to track where they've searched and are in constant communication with each other.

    "So when we have people who aren't trained, it just adds to our workload. We worry about their safety more than what we're doing to focus on our missing individual," she said.

    While crews are prepared for the weather and logistics, Stadel said, the climate does make the search and rescue effort more difficult.

    "It definitely impacts our operations. It's very icy out, we're in very steep terrain. So that makes it really difficult for us to search. With the snow cover it also makes it a little bit harder to find any kind of tracks, any evidence that was left over," she said. The dogs are also impacted because "scent doesn't travel, it doesn't flow as much on a warm day."

    The temperature was one degree Monday morning and in the negatives Sunday night.

    "Obviously we're concerned about someone freezing to death," Thom said.

    We're "learning everything we can about the circumstance," Jegeris said, adding that staff from the Children's Home Society has been very helpful.

    "If this were to go on unsolved and she's not located, the investigation will remain a priority until she is located," he said of Dennard.

    "Our staff are very, very concerned and our kids that know that Serenity is gone is as well," Colson said.

    Dennard is white, 4?7? tall, 90 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder length dirty blonde hair. She was last seen wearing only a long-sleeved gray shirt with flowers, blue jeans and snow boots. Serenity is from Sturgis and may be trying to get to her family.

    Anyone with information about Dennard is asked to contact the Pennington County Sheriff?s Office at (605) 394-6115. https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/lo...80139f7ba.html
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    Save Bandit! Angiebla's Avatar
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    I hope they find her before she freezes to death.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I hope they find her before she freezes to death.
    Sadly, if she hasn't found shelter she's probably gone already. It is so cold and she wasn't dressed for the weather at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/lo...7e059706c.html

    The Pennington County Sheriff's Office found and spoke with the couple who last saw the 9-year-old girl who has been missing since Sunday morning, but have not yet found the girl.

    Serenity Dennard was last seen leaving the Black Hills Children's Home near Rockerville around 10:45 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said in a Tuesday morning news release.

    A couple — a man and a woman in their late 20s or early 30s — who were chopping wood nearby the residential home were the last to see Dennard, according to a Monday press release from the Sheriff's Office. The public helped locate the couple and the couple helped the Sheriff's Office better understand the timeline surrounding Dennard's disappearance, the Tuesday release says.

    More than 100 people, plus dogs, are looking for Serenity within a one-mile radius of the campus in and around the Children’s Home, according to the release. Deputies have spoken with the few neighbors in the rural area, and checked in outbuildings and behind places were a child may take refugee, such as log piles and hay bales.

    Search and rescue teams are from agencies including the Pennington County Sheriff's Office and Search and Rescue, Custer County Search and Rescue, the Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, Civil Air Patrol, and the Rapid City police and fire departments.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    The Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night to transition its search for the missing 9-year-old from a rescue to a recovery.

    In a release the Sheriff's Office says it's unlikely Dennard survived being outside since Sunday. The release says the Sheriff's Office has not ruled out the possibility Dennard found a warm, safe place or that someone picked her up. The investigation is still active. However, due to the extreme cold, if Dennard was outside, since Sunday it's unlikely she survived.

    More than 200 personnel and six canines worked on the search for Serenity. The Sheriff's Office personnel will remain in the area, but recovery efforts will be scaled back.

    Specialized canines from Eastern South Dakota and Colorado will join the recovery efforts. An arrival date for the specialty search teams isn't known yet.

    Serenity was first reported missing on Sunday, February 3 when she left the Black Hills Children's Home on foot.

    https://www.blackhillsfox.com/conten...TBSePRDgLBDTUU
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    Senior Member Nic B's Avatar
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    Yeah, there is no way she survived out there. I guess it is possible she got picked up and went willingly in the car because of the cold, but obviously if that happened it was a predator. This is just heartbreaking.


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    Yeah, there is no way she survived out there. I guess it is possible she got picked up and went willingly in the car because of the cold, but obviously if that happened it was a predator. This is just heartbreaking.
    The only other possibility I can see is maybe some kind of custody thing. Maybe a family member who didn't have custody took her. Sad, when familial kidnapping is the best possibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
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    Senior Member Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    The only other possibility I can see is maybe some kind of custody thing. Maybe a family member who didn't have custody took her. Sad, when familial kidnapping is the best possibility.
    Yes, that would be the only good thing if it happened, because there would be a chance she is still alive...


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.ksfy.com/content/news/Se...505537631.html

    After two days off because of inclement weather, search and rescue workers will head back out Friday in search of a 9-year-old girl who ran off Sunday from the Black Hills Children's Home near Rockerville.

    Pennington County Search and Rescue teams will be resume their efforts to find Serenity Dennard, who fled the residential treatment facility for children who may have suffered trauma or have behavioral needs.

    Search and Rescue Team Leader Tammy Stadel told KOTA that seven dogs teams -- typically one dog and one handler -- are coming in from out of the area to join the search on Saturday.

    All of the out-of-area dog teams are trained to detect people who are deceased.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    The search expanded Saturday for a 9-year-old girl missing since last weekend in some very rugged and snowy Black Hills terrain.

    But as of sundown there was no new news on the whereabouts of young Serenity Dennard.

    It was Day seven of the search that began last Sunday morning when Serenity ran away from the Black Hills Children's Home, a refuge for children that have experienced trauma or have behavioral needs. And the search Saturday had new assets.

    A helicopter flew repeated missions over the search area in a grid pattern.

    "We can add a different dimension, the aerial perspective," said Michael Jacob who owns Black Hills Aerial Adventures and works with the sheriff's office on cases that could use an air element. "It gives you a wider view. In a situation like this with the snow coverage it's a little bit more difficult however we can cover a large area of ground in a short period of time."

    Also joining the search were seven specialty dog teams from four states. The out-of-area dogs are all trained to locate remains as authorities say is unlikely Serenity could have survived out in the wild.

    The dogs teams are each assigned specific territories.

    "We take a map and we segment out areas based on terrain, roads, natural and man made barriers," said Pennington County Search and Rescue Team Leader Tammy Stadel. "And then we assign each dog a specific area to work. It's very important for the dogs to get in somewhere warm get their feet warmed up, get their noses warmed up so the handlers work pretty close watching their dogs."

    The 56 searchers -- and the dogs -- worked an expanded search zone that had been limited to a one mile radius from the Children's Home but was expanded to a two-and-half mile radius.

    And everyone face some tough conditions.

    "It would be nice if it would warm up a little out here for all of our searchers and our dogs but we're forging forward," said Pennington County Chief Deputy Sheriff Willie Whelchel.

    And the hope stayed alive.

    "Of course we're optimistic that our search will be successful," said Lt. Kraig Wood from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. "That's what we're hoping for, that's the whole goal: to find Serenity."

    The search is scheduled to resume on Sunday morning.

    https://www.kotatv.com/content/news/...505622041.html
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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    I am beginning to wonder if maybe there is more to this story than how it was reported. Could she have gotten killed at the Children's home and the put the running away story out to cover up? I know, I'm jaded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I am beginning to wonder if maybe there is more to this story than how it was reported. Could she have gotten killed at the Children's home and the put the running away story out to cover up? I know, I'm jaded.
    I would think it's unlikely. I think either she ran away and fell off a cliff or tried to shelter from the cold and froze fairly quickly... it's very rough terrain and the weather was foul. Snowing, foggy, really rotten. Or she was picked up by someone, either by prearrangement or some passer by. There was an unsolved killing in this general area 6 years ago. (Meshell Will) Maybe her killer is still active. But the simplest explanation is probably right. Probably they'll find her when the snow melts.
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    The search for a 9-year-old girl who's been missing for more than a week after running away from a residential youth home in rural Pennington County has been put on hold for now, it was announced Monday.

    "We're regrouping and re-assessing, trying to decide how and when we continue our recovery efforts," Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said during a news conference at the Public Safety Building in Rapid City.

    "The weather has not been our friend," he added. "Everyone involved in the search has poured themselves into this physically and emotionally. It's been very draining on both fronts."

    Thom said while the search efforts into the disappearance of Serenity Dennard of Sturgis are paused, the investigation remains ongoing until she is found. He said no scenario regarding what happened to her or where she might have gone is being ruled out.

    Dennard left the Children's Home Society, located near Rockerville, around 10:45 a.m. Feb. 3. After searching for her, staff called law enforcement at 12:26 p.m.

    After search and rescue personal arrived, Thom said, Dennard was entered as a missing person into the FBI's National Crime Information Center, which can be accessed by law-enforcement agencies across the country. An Endangered Missing Advisory was issued the next day. An Amber Alert was not issued since the system requires evidence of a kidnapping and a description of a kidnapper or their vehicle.

    Investigators have conducted 115 interviews and are following 23 leads into where Dennard might be, according to a fact sheet distributed at the press conference. They have served two search warrants and are working on a third warrant, reviewed videos from cameras at seven businesses and used the Internet Crimes Against Children department for computer forensics.

    The videos have shown no signs of Dennard, Thom said. The warrants are for items such as phone records, not nearby homes.

    "We're covering all of our bases to make sure we haven't missed something," Thom said.

    Staff searched the Children's Home four times, combed through neighboring homes and outbuildings, and interviewed Dennard's family and Children's Home staff and youth, the sheriff's office has said.

    Since Dennard went missing until Feb. 10, 355 people and 14 dogs from 33 local, state and federal agencies have helped in the search, the fact sheet says. Searchers used handheld thermal devices and distributed flyers to every home between Highway 16 and 40. An airplane from Civil Air Patrol and a helicopter from Black Hills Aerial Adventures assisted in the search.

    The search initially focused on a 1-mile radius around the Children's Home, said Tammy Stadel, team leader for Pennington County Search and Rescue.

    "This is typical of any individual that's been missing whether it's a child or an adult," Stadel said as she stood in front of a map of the search effort.

    She said searchers, especially aircraft, eventually looked beyond the 1-mile radius, including Highways 40 and 16.

    The map shows dozens of colorful lines marking where searchers, dogs, the plane and helicopter went. Not all search routes are represented on the map since some GPS units quit working because of the cold weather, Stadel said.

    She said the search for Dennard is one of the "top five" biggest search and rescue efforts in Pennington County history.

    The Children's Home provides schooling and intensive therapy in both outpatient and inpatient settings for 4- to 14-year-olds struggling with abuse, trauma and mental and behavioral health, according to its website.

    Bill Colson, executive director of the Children's Home Society that oversees the Children's Home, said he was not at the facility when Dennard went missing and that staff called 911 to report her missing.

    "We have absolute confidence in our staff," he said, adding that staff evaluate policies after every incident.

    Colson explained that the Children's Home is licensed by the Department of Social Services and each child there is either referred or approved by the state.

    "Every time something happens with any child in our agency, the state of South Dakota is involved," he said when asked if DSS will investigate Dennard's disappearance from the facility.

    "They operate with some very, very challenging situations and cases," Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris said of Children's Home. "The compassion that I've observed of staff members over the years is admirable."

    Thom thanked the community for supporting first responders, including the Gaslight Restaurant in Rockerville, which served hot meals to search and rescue personnel.

    "Neighbors help neighbors," he said of the assistance the sheriff's office has received from nearby agencies and businesses.

    Colson said the Children's Home also wanted to express its appreciation for all the assistance in the search for Dennard.

    "We think about her every day and we're praying," Colson said. "I have never seen an outpouring of heart and energy like I've seen in this last week. And I'm so thankful and our staff is so thankful."

    Dennard is 4 feet, 7 inches tall, 90 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder-length dark-blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt with flowers, blue jeans and snow boots. She is from Sturgis and may have been trying to return to her family.

    Anyone with information about Dennard should call the Pennington County Sheriff's Office at 605-394-6115. If anyone finds her body, they should mark down the location, not disturb the scene, and call 911.
    https://rapidcityjournal.com/news/lo...d05a810a2.html
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    Save Bandit! Angiebla's Avatar
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    She didn’t have a jacket on?

    It’s sad they think she was trying to return to her family.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    https://www.facebook.com/search/str/...epa=SEARCH_BOX
    some interesting stuff in the comments, too. Someone claims her bio dad just got out of jail and a bunch of other random speculation.

    A friend reminded me just how nice it was when Serenity disappeared. I'd been thinking it was unlikely she got far cause it was just too cold, but it was 38 when she ran... hmm. https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/ro...eather/2224661
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
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    Last edited by puzzld; 03-16-2019 at 04:25 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/...capes-61912314

    A 9-year-old girl missing from a South Dakota residential youth home for nearly two months has a history of running away, her parents said in an interview published Sunday.

    Chad and Kasandra Dennard told the Rapid City Journal that their daughter, Serenity Dennard, had planned escapes by packing a suitcase and leaving in the middle of the night. The family's home in Sturgis, South Dakota, has an alarm to help prevent that from happening.

    Chad Dennard, 37, tells the newspaper he's "100 percent" certain that Serenity planned an escape from Children's Home by having another child run away first.

    "That's just her MO (mode of operation)," he said. "She's just going to wait until everything is calmed down."

    The couple said Serenity runs away because she doesn't know how to process her emotions, or because she begins to feel too comfortable in a place.

    Serenity and three other children were playing inside the gym at Children's Home when one of the other children ran away, Bill Colson, executive director of the Children's Home Society, has said. As a staffer ran after that child, Serenity took off. Because the remaining staffer was still supervising two other children, that person stayed and called for help rather than follow Serenity.

    Serenity's parents said their daughter would hide from staff inside Children's Home and threaten to run away. She may have run away Feb. 3 because she started to feel too comfortable at the home, was no longer the new girl and was ready for something new, the couple said.

    Kasandra Dennard, 25, said she thinks her daughter's struggles stem from the inconstancy of being raised by many different people. She said Serenity's birth parents loved her but they were both sent to prison.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Yep. You need to watch the Youtube vids. One is with the natural mother and one with the adoptive mother who apparently walked out on Serenity. Before going back to the home S was living with her adoptive dad and his new wife... poor kid was bounced from place to place to place.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.kotatv.com/content/news/...508716711.html

    The search for 9-year-old Serenity Dennard will resume Friday, centering on the South Rockerville Road area.

    The search will include two Colorado K-9 teams and about 30 to 40 people.

    If necessary, the search will continue through Saturday.

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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.mitchellrepublic.com/new...inue-dog-teams

    Six dog teams from four states will help with the continued search this week for the 9-year-old girl who went missing in the Black Hills area nearly three months ago, the Rapid City Journal reported.

    Serenity Dennard ran away from the Black Hills Children's Home near Rockerville on Feb. 3.

    The Pennington County Sheriff's Office said in a release dog teams are coming from the Northern Black Hills, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. They plan to search Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28. About 30 people will be involved.

    Each dog will be accompanied by at least three people in order to "scour the area and search for any sign of the missing child," according to the release.

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Yeah they keep looking... Someone I know was burbling on about how great this is and what a wonderful day it will be when she's found. {Praise God} I finally had to say it... You know, if they find her up there, they'll be finding bones or at best a badly decomp body right? The only hope for this child is that she planned this and met up with someone? Or possibly some stranger took her, but that doesn't seem like there'd be a happy ending there either. Person told me I was cruel.

    Not at all. I hope for closure for her loved ones, and maybe there'll be an Elizabeth Smart / Jaycee Dugard style ending... but the reason they stand out is because they are so rare.
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    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    Yeah they keep looking... Someone I know was burbling on about how great this is and what a wonderful day it will be when she's found. {Praise God} I finally had to say it... You know, if they find her up there, they'll be finding bones or at best a badly decomp body right? The only hope for this child is that she planned this and met up with someone? Or possibly some stranger took her, but that doesn't seem like there'd be a happy ending there either. Person told me I was cruel.

    Not at all. I hope for closure for her loved ones, and maybe there'll be an Elizabeth Smart / Jaycee Dugard style ending... but the reason they stand out is because they are so rare.
    Cruel? Does this person live in a unicorn and rainbow planet I don't know about? What does she think this kid has been doing all this time? If a search crew finds her outside where they are searching, she's going to be dead. Is it the outcome any of us want, no, but it's reality. As you said, the other options are that she planned a meet up (I would think we would have heard something by now) or possibly an even worse outcome where someone took her.

  23. #23
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Cruel? Does this person live in a unicorn and rainbow planet I don't know about? What does she think this kid has been doing all this time? If a search crew finds her outside where they are searching, she's going to be dead. Is it the outcome any of us want, no, but it's reality. As you said, the other options are that she planned a meet up (I would think we would have heard something by now) or possibly an even worse outcome where someone took her.
    Yep. Unicorns poop rainbows and little girls do foolish things and end up living in the forest with the brownies with no harm coming to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  24. #24
    Moderator Jumaki15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puzzld View Post
    Yep. Unicorns poop rainbows and little girls do foolish things and end up living in the forest with the brownies with no harm coming to them.
    She has been being cared for by a Bigfoot, obviously.

  25. #25
    So very tired raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumaki15 View Post
    She has been being cared for by a Bigfoot, obviously.
    Since it was snowy, wouldn't it technically be a yeti?

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