There's been a sad update in the search for a 9-year-old girl who disappeared in South Dakota. The Pennington County Sheriff's Office says it is now a recovery effort rather than rescue, according to a local FOX affiliate.
The Sheriff's Office announced the transition on Tuesday night. In a release, the Sheriff's Office says it's unlikely Dennard survived being outside since Sunday.
However, the release did note that they haven't ruled out the possibility Dennard found a warm, safe place or that someone picked her up. The investigation is still active, but due to the extreme cold, they believe it's unlikely that she's still alive if she was outside.
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.
Police have been searching Serenity Dennard went missing around 11:20 am on Sunday, February 3, 2019. At the time, they believed she ran away.
She was last seen leaving the Children's Home Society, which is located in the Roverville area. She has been missing ever since, and police fear she was outside in the -5-degree weather and snow.
Dennard is described as a Caucasian female, 4’7”, 90 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder length dirty blonde hair. She was last seen wearing only a long-sleeved grey shirt with flowers, blue jeans, and snow boots.
The Civil Air Patrol joined the rescue effort by air and ground Monday morning. Pennington County Deputies, Pennington County Search and Rescue, Custer County Search and Rescue, Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, Rapid City Fire Department, and at least three dogs searched for Dennard until 10 pm Sunday. Searchers used hand-held thermal imaging devices.
Deputies stayed all night patrolling the area and the search resumed with additional resources Monday at 7 am. They have not issued an Amber Alert because there is no credible evidence that she has been abducted.
The police asked everyone living the area to search their properties and outbuildings for Serenity. If anyone has seen or had contact with Serenity Dennard, please contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at (605) 394-6115.
Please join us in praying that Serenity is somewhere safe and found quickly. Anything is possible through God's intervention.