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SD SERENITY DENNARD: Missing from Rapid City, SD - 3 Feb 2019 - Age 9

Discussion in 'Missing 2015 to Present' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Whatsnext

    Whatsnext Well-Known Member


    Reports critical of children's home in Serenity Dennard disappearance
    Associated Press
    Published 9:33 AM EDT Apr 10, 2019
    A photo taken of Serenity Dennard, 9, the day before she left the Black Hills Children's Home in Rockerville on Feb. 3, 2019.
    Pennington County Sheriff's Office
    ROCKERVILLE, S.D. (AP) — Reports from two regulatory agencies are critical of how staff at the Black Hill's Children's Home responded after a young girl fled from the facility, a runaway who remains missing and is feared dead.

    The government reports say the Children's Home staff should have called 911 immediately after 9-year-old Serenity Dennard disappeared Feb. 3, instead of waiting an hour and 41 minutes.

    The Rapid City Journal obtained the reports by the state Department of Social Services and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Much of the facility's funding comes from Medicaid.

    The reports say the home doesn't have a sufficient emergency preparedness plan and initially conducted a disorganized search for Dennard.

    “Based on the behaviors of the child, identified BHCH staff did not provide the level of supervision required to ensure the safety of the child,” the DSS report read.

    Authorities say the girl was not dressed for the frigid weather when she disappeared and that it's unlikely she survived if she was outside.
    MrsS, ima.grandma, Kimster and 3 others like this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Authorities come up empty in search for Serenity Dennard on Friday

    Another day of searching and still there are no signs of 9-year-old Serenity Dennard.

    The Pennington County Sheriff's Office posted this video on Twitter as crews and specialized dog teams searched the area for the little girl who has been missing for more than two months.

    "Really what our goal now is, we're getting into areas as you can see and we're basically an arm reach away from each other and just check everywhere. We want to be able to say that we're mathematically clearing areas," Willie Whelchel, Pennington C. Sheriff's Deputy said.


  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    First responders remain optimistic in search for Serenity

    It’s been one of the biggest stories of this year, the disappearance of Serenity Dennard.

    Investigators have followed hundreds of leads, and still no answers. Regardless, rescue teams remain optimistic as they continue their search, which resumed on Friday. Its been nearly 11 weeks since 9-year-old Serenity Dennard went missing from the Children’s Home Society in Rockerville.

    Rescue crews continue to search the rugged terrain on South Rockerville Road. They’re using their ‘grid strategy’ combing every foot.

    “We have people that are searching from fingertip to fingertip, really being able to check some areas off the map,” said Lt. Kraig Wood with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “I don’t think you can say something is 100 percent checked, but we’re getting close.”

    On Friday, the 52 people from 10 law enforcement agencies were faced with jagged, sometimes impassible cliffs and rocks.

    “Both the hillsides are very steep, a lot of the loose needles from the fall that have fallen down, we’ve already had a lot of people slip and stumble in that, but its very dangerous terrain, said Jay Evenson, a retired captain with the Sheriff’s Office.

    Two dog teams from Colorado are on the search as well. Crews have set up a portable weather station in the hills to monitor the wind speeds so the dogs can pick up on scents.

    “Our winds have been consistent, that helps us understand what the dogs might be seeing, and when they have interest,” said Chief Gail Schmidt of the Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department. “Those consistent winds, those warmer winds and drier weather have been perfect for the dogs to work.”

    Crews say they have to work quickly, because growing grass could cover up anything that could be on the ground. Along with the search in the Black Hills, investigators continue to interview people, sift through social media, and follow all leads.

    “Both go hand in hand, the search and the investigation,” said Lt. Wood. “We’ve done hundreds of interviews through multiple states, we’re chasing down the leads that come down. They’re both intensive processes.”

    ima.grandma, spike, KareBear and 2 others like this.
  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Dog Teams to Search for Missing South Dakota Girl

    Authorities are bringing in dog teams from four states this weekend as they continue searching for a 9-year-old girl who went missing in the Black Hills area nearly three months ago.

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

    KareBear, Whatsnext, kdg411 and 2 others like this.
  5. KareBear

    KareBear Well-Known Member

    It blows my mind how this little girl has managed to, literally, disappear without a trace- zilch, zero, nada! I hoped when the snow melted it would reveal more answers. Her story will linger in my mind until she is found.. :vigil: Your not forgotten Serenity!!
    Whatsnext, kdg411 and spike like this.
  6. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Dogs pick up a cadaver scent as the search for Serenity continues

    Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom says multiple dog teams picked up a cadaver scent in the area surrounding the Black Hills Children's Home during the search for Serenity Dennard.

    Since the end of March, about 40 dog teams, each trained to pick up the scent of a deceased human, searched through the area surrounding the Children's Home in Rockerville.

    "They can tell you it's cadaver scent, I mean these are dogs that are certified and trained from a number of different states. Dogs that we used for other recoveries in South Dakota so they're known dog teams to us and very credible," says Thom.

    Knowing there is a cadaver in the area means search teams can focus their search, but the scent doesn't mean they found Serenity just yet. For the dogs the scent of any deceased human is the same so there is a possibility that the dogs aren't alerting on the missing nine-year-old.

    "Obviously that would complicate it if we found a body that we didn't know was out there. That would complicate the issue, but we would still continue searching for Serenity as well," he says.

    If it is Serenity, there is still the issue of finding her. A scent can be carried by the wind and other weather factors affect how well a dog team can do on any given day.

    kdg411, spike and Kimster like this.
  7. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    If someone harmed her, they can pick up the scent but not find her if she was moved, too.

    This case makes me sick! What happened?
    KareBear, Walden, Whatsnext and 3 others like this.
  8. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Serenity Dennard turns 10

    While the search continues for Serenity Dennard, friends and family gathered at Main Street Square in a show hope and unity for the girl's 10th birthday.

    VIDEO at link - https://www.kotatv.com/video/?vid=509834822
    kdg411, spike, Kimster and 1 other person like this.
  9. Summer_breeze

    Summer_breeze Blowing through the Jasmine in my mind

  10. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Dennard missing for 4 months

    Monday marks four months since Serenity Dennard disappeared.

    The nine-year-old girl was last seen on February 3, after leaving the Children's Home Society near Rockerville. Crews spent Sunday searching for Serenity, but the Pennington County Sheriff's Office says they didn't find her.

    The Sheriff's Office posted a photo to their Twitter account, thanking K-9 teams.

    They also write that both the search and investigation are going to press on.



    We thank the K9 teams for volunteering the last three days to look for little Serenity Dennard. Unfortunately we did not find her today. The search and investigation will continue.

  11. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Bless them for not giving up!
  12. ima.grandma

    ima.grandma Believer of Miracles

    A false rumor has been circulating, that the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office would be suspending further searches for Serenity Dennard.

    She's been missing since February when she ran away from the Children’s Home.

    plan to resume the search this weekend weather permitting.

    He says there is a difference between the investigation side and then the search side.

    Thom said they get leads like calls to the department – what he called the investigative side.

    Then there’s the search side, and checking out those leads, like the dog teams indicating they picked up cadaver scent.
  13. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Search continues for Serenity Dennard

    At 6 a.m. over 100 people in 5 groups walked arms length apart scanning, searching, looking for any evidence of Serenity Dennard.

    "What we call kind of grid search, wing span to wing span searching. Basically eliminating areas, we have 5 key areas we're targeting this morning," says Kevin Thom the Sheriff of Pennington County.

    The Sheriff's Office wanted all hands on deck to try and cover the most ground possible so they put in a request to the Ellsworth Air Force Base for volunteers, with nearly 80 airmen and women, they too want to help find more answers to where the missing child could be.

    "We're going to get told from where we're going to start and just keep going until they call us back for lunch. Might as well use my time wisely and help for a good cause. She's been missing for awhile might as well get her found," says Keely Stolpe with the Ellsworth Air Force Base.

    Sheriff's deputies and Ellsworth airmen weren't the only ones in attendance but also some members from the Box Elder police department.

    For one officer, he works night and normally would be sleeping at 6 a.m. but he put his needs second to lend a hand.

    "We're all part of a big community, the Black Hills and we're very happy to have been selected to come here and hopefully bring the family closure and definitely glad they wanted us here," John Cargill a police officer with the Box Elder Police Department.

    There's no update from the Sheriff's Department if anything has been found during today's search but as they continue, we will update you with any information.

    kdg411, Whatsnext and ima.grandma like this.
  14. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Authorities continue search for Serenity without results

    The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says that search crews were out on Friday, but still didn’t find any sign of Serenity Dennard.

    Sheriff officials shared a video on social media of searchers scouring the area where Dennard’s remains are suspected to be.

    They say about 15 people joined the search crew. They checked out a number of new areas that haven’t been looked over yet, but didn’t find the child.

    She’s been missing since February 3.

    Officials say they are continuing to investigate other possible leads.

    “Meanwhile,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Tweet, “The investigation continues into all possibilities of her disappearance.”


  15. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Dog teams ‘alert to areas’ in Serenity search, regional K9 teams to continue searching

    According to the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, a specialized dog team from Cody, Wyo. ‘alerted to areas’ during the search for Serenity Dennard this weekend.

    The Sheriff’s Office said that this weekend, a search team lead by KT from Cody Wyoming were in the area, searching for Serenity. Dog teams have previously picked up on a human scent in the area.

    According the Helene Duhamel, the public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office, a wide variety of factors go into dog teams, including temperature and wind speed. Because of the wet spring, Duhamel also said that search teams continue to deal with long grass, fallen trees and ticks as well.

    spike, Whatsnext and kdg411 like this.
  16. Summer_breeze

    Summer_breeze Blowing through the Jasmine in my mind

    New challenges while searching for Serenity Dennard

    by: Marissa Lute
    Posted: Jun 30, 2019 / 12:20 PM CDT/ Updated: Jun 30, 2019 / 12:20 PM CDT

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The hot temperatures this weekend are taking a toll on people across South Dakota.

    The Pennington County Sheriff’s office says heat was a factor in their search Saturday for Serenity Dennard, the 9-year-old girl who’s been missing in the Black Hills for nearly five months.

    Fifteen people took part in the search south of Rapid City. The sheriff’s office posted while they put in a lot of sweat into the search, they didn’t have any luck in finding Serenity.

    They say the tall grass in the search area is creating new challenges for them.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Video at link
  17. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    No-trespass notice issued against lawmaker after argument about missing girl

    The Box Elder Police Department recently issued a no-trespass notification against state Sen. Lynne DiSanto, R-Box Elder, following a social media exchange between her and a constituent about a missing girl.

    A written police report about the situation says that if DiSanto appears at the complaining person’s property at any time for any reason, DiSanto will be arrested.

    The police report says the situation arose from communications between DiSanto and Patricia Kassner, of Box Elder, on Facebook. DiSanto runs a Facebook page titled “Lyn Seeks Truth. com,” which she launched in May and has devoted primarily to commentary, videos and other content related to the Serenity Dennard missing-person case. The page (which was live and public as recently as Tuesday but was not available Wednesday morning) describes DiSanto as a news personality, author and motivational speaker. DiSanto also has a similarly named website, lynneseekstruth.com.

    According to the police report about the DiSanto trespass notice, Kassner posted written messages to DiSanto’s Facebook page accusing DiSanto of using the Dennard case to gain attention for herself.

    “To use a situation like this for your own personal gain and just to stir up drama is just evil,” said a portion of one of Kassner’s messages to DiSanto, according to the police report.

    In DiSanto’s written replies, according to the police report, DiSanto called Kassner “completely and totally ignorant.” DiSanto also wrote, “Patricia Kassner I see you live close to me!!! Awesome! I’ll be stopping by to say Hi so we can talk face to face soon.”

    On July 1, Kassner contacted law enforcement and reported DiSanto’s messages as a threat.

    Kassner also criticized DiSanto for featuring large photographs of herself as the primary images on her Facebook page and website, instead of more prominently featuring images of Dennard.

    "Go onto any of her pages," Kassner said of DiSanto, "and what is the first thing you see but a big picture of her?"

    Others have made similar allegations against DiSanto on DiSanto’s Facebook page and in tips to the Journal. DiSanto also has many supporters who make comments on her Facebook page.

    Critics have specifically questioned DiSanto’s use of Dennard’s name and image in fundraising campaigns. A ******** webpage operated by DiSanto called “Bring Serenity Dennard Home” has so far attracted donations of $1,180, and DiSanto said Tuesday that other auctions and raffles have brought in $1,710.88, for a total of $2,890.88. DiSanto said none of the money has been spent, and said she is hoping to reach $10,000 to start a reward fund for information leading to the resolution of the Dennard case.

    Whatsnext and kdg411 like this.
  18. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Challenges and efforts for Serenity Dennard Search 5 months later

    Since February 3rd, law enforcement and volunteers have been searching for Serenity Dennard.

    About 5 months ago 9-year-old Serenity Dennard disappeared from the Children’s Home Society. At the time extreme search efforts were being made which later became a recovery effort.

    “After a few days it turned from a rescue to a recovery because of weather so no question, that from a search perspective it is a recovery,” Sheriff Thom said.

    There are 2 sides of this case. The search and the investigative side.

    “We have had 182 leads and that encompasses about 15 states that we’ve followed up on. We’ve interviewed or had contact with about 410 individuals. We’ve followed up on a lot of different leads and have done 6 search warrants so we’ve had a very robust investigative effort to this along with the search effort,” Thom said.

    The challenges have not stopped the search.

    These maps demonstrate the searched areas from a month ago. Since then, the ground searchers and canine teams have covered much more space outside of the Black Hills Children’s Home Society.

    “We’ve logged over 4 thousand miles in this forest. We have had over a thousand volunteers. Thousands and thousands of man hours and so our commitment is still there, just because it slows us down, it won’t stop us. We are committed to finding Serenity and we will do whatever it takes to find her,” Harrison said.

    Steve, Whatsnext and kdg411 like this.
  19. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Search for Serenity scaled back during Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

    This weekend marks six months since 9-year-old Serenity Dennard went missing from the Black Hills Children’s home on February 3.

    The search has been deemed the most extensive in South Dakota state history as well as the most expensive. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has continued searches since her disappearance and followed up on multiple leads.

    As we head into the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the PCSO says law enforcement officials will be shifting focus to policing the increased crowds in town.

    “We’ve been trying to get out on the weekends and one day during the week and whether it be with dogs or foot teams,” said Willie Whelchel, Chief Deputy at the PCSO. “So not that we’re putting it on the back burner by no means, but there will probably be some changes for next week.”

    Whelchel says they’re still looking to put together a ground team and will continue to work with dog teams in the next few weeks. Following the Rally, he says the searches will pick back up.

  20. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    A look inside the ground search for Serenity Dennard

    Law enforcement agencies were out again Thursday morning in Rockerville, continuing the search for Serenity Dennard, who went missing Feb. 3 from the Black Hills Children’s home.

    Over six months later, countless hours have been spent with over 1000 people from at least 60 collaborating agencies. The search for Serenity Dennard is the most expansive and intricate in state history.

    The ground searches are only one aspect to the investigation and pose new challenges each time.

    “We’ve been doing them for many months, many searches a month” said Capt. Tony Harrison with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

    The PCSO meets every week to make a plan. Regardless of tight Rally staffing, searchers made it out Thursday morning, the day with an optimal forecast.

    At the break of dawn, multiple law enforcement agencies arrive at the corner of Main Street and South Rockerville Road and gear up for the hours ahead, scouring the hills for Serenity.

    As the 30 plus volunteers gather around Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, he thanks them for assisting in the search. “Thank you for being here,” said Thom. “We’ve been at this for six months.”

    After a quick briefing, reminding crews of Serenity’s last known description, “blue jeans, black boots, and a grey shirt with flowers on it,” they line up to receive their GPS for the hike.

    “Everybody that’s in the field receives a GPS so that it records exactly where they were,” said Shawn Gab, team leader with the Pennington County Search and Rescue. “If, in the end, we find there are gaps, we can make special search sectors and go back out with a smaller team and cover those exact gaps.”

    After a roughly three hour search, Serenity was not found but hope does not waiver among the searchers.

    “It’s going to continue until we find her,” said Harrison. “We are committed to finding her.”

    MORE: https://www.newscenter1.tv/a-look-inside-the-ground-search-for-serenity-dennard/
    Whatsnext, kdg411 and Sundance like this.

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