Friday, July 2, 2010

Search for Missing Boy

Our search team, People and Paws, was activated yesterday to search for a missing 8 year old Reedsburg boy.  The boy had left his home around 3:45 the previous day and was reported missing to Law Enforcement several hours later after an unsuccessful search by family members.  When I received the call, I quickly canceled the private lessons I had scheduled for the day.  Everyone was understanding of the priorities and I appreciate that.

The location is about three hours from here and most of our team arrived at around the same time to discover a parking lot filled with fire department and rescue vehicles, horse trailers, squad cars and school buses.  It seemed the entire town had emptied to assist in the search. On a personal level, I question some of the well-intentioned who were accompanied by young children. I cannot believe they had an understanding of what they might find and how shocking that might be to a child.

 Ultimately we would move our command post away from that scene, to a location nearby where the dogs had shade and we could deploy away from the prying eyes of media. I have great respect for the Incident Command System in place for our team and those we work closely with.  There are other teams whose knowledge, certifications and expertise dove-tail with that of PnP and who we work jointly with on numerous searches.  K9SOS and WolfSAR were two of the other teams who worked the incident with us.

I will not go into detail about the search except to say that I was extremely impressed by the work of Lynn Gardiner and her bloodhound, Abby.  Abby is a youngster but demonstrated ability and a strong work ethic.  In the end, there is a tragic post script to the story; the young lad had apparently entered the Baraboo River and drowned. I dislike the term "closure".  Does a family who loses a child ever truly close that door?   But he is at least returned to them to say good-bye.  Pray that this family finds strength to deal with their loss.

The team will be answer the call to locate another missing child in the future.  We will pack our gear, load our dogs, and hope for a different outcome, never forgetting the families who are waiting to bring their loved ones home.