K9 Finds Missing 11-Year-Old Girl In Park Bathroom

January 30, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Hillsborough County, Florida.

In a heartwarming display of dedication and expertise, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) K9 Unit, led by Deputy Sarah Ernstes and K9 Mary Lu, successfully located and rescued a missing and endangered 11-year-old girl.

K9 unit finds missing girl
Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The saga began when a concerned family reported the girl missing, prompting Deputy Sarah Ernstes and K9 Mary Lu to spring into action. Their swift response led them to the 16000 block of Carlton Lake Drive, where the duo commenced their search for the young girl.

Quickly following the trail, the vigilant K9 team discovered that the missing girl had been given a ride to a nearby apartment complex in Wimauma by kind-hearted neighbors. Undeterred, the HCSO units redirected their efforts to the new location, where K9 Mary Lu's extraordinary sense of smell proved instrumental.

The K9 officer led deputies to a locked bathroom door at a park in the area. With the skilled guidance of the K9 team, deputies approached the situation delicately. Through effective communication, they were able to convince the frightened 11-year-old to unlock the door, revealing her safe and unharmed condition.

Sheriff Chad Chronister praised the exemplary work of the HCSO K9 Unit, stating, "Our team HCSO K9 Unit has once again proven its invaluable role in our community. With their exceptional skills, they successfully located and brought home a missing 11-year-old girl, reuniting her safely with her family. I couldn't be prouder of our team's commitment to service and determination to protect and serve."

Watch the police bodycam footage below.

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