Child found with ‘barely any food or water’
A sniffer dog in Tennessee has been praised after finding a six-year-old girl who had been missing for over a month.
The bloodhound, named Fred, tracked the child down to an abandoned shed – where she was found with “barely and food or water” alongside her father, who is accused of kidnapping the youngster.
Posting to Facebook, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said the girl’s father, Nicholas Reeder, was charged with child abuse or neglect of his daughter after the pair were discovered. Mr Reeder had lost custody of his daughter, who is now in the care of Tennessee children’s services.
“The door to the outbuilding was barricaded and the windows had been covered up with metal. There was no ventilation and air conditioning inside the small outbuilding,” Dekalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Ray said.
“There was barely any food or water for the child. The outbuilding had a strong ammonia smell where the two had been urinating and defecating in a five gallon bucket.”
Authorities used Fred the sniffer dog to locate the missing child by giving the animal some of her father’s clothes to smell. Deputies believed the pair were camping in the Pea Ridge community, and Fred managed to follow a trail from the father’s home to where they were hiding out.
Rutherford County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Holloway explained: “Everyone was prepared to stay on scene until the little girl was safely located and out of harm’s way.
“It is an honour to serve alongside some of the most dedicated and highly trained first responders in the country.”
Fred’s handler, K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell said the little girl had given the dog a hug when he found her, and that the animal had been given a reward of chicken for a job well done.
“I praised him and loved on him,” Mr Tidwell said. “I pulled the chicken reward out of my pocket. He ate the chicken and wanted to meet other people as if to say, ‘Look what I’ve done.’”