RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Yesterday was the first anniversary of the disappearance of Serenity Dennard, the 9-year old girl who ran away from the Black Hills Children’s Home near Rockerville.
Since then, over a thousand people have searched over 5,000 miles for her, aided by 109 canine teams and 7 aircraft, while investigators have followed more than 200 leads spanning 36 states and 4 countries while conducting 465 interviews.
Authorities shifted the focus of the searches after a few days from finding Serenity alive to recovering her body, but her father hasn’t given up hope she’s still alive.
Chad Dennard says he “would love that somebody took her, a good person took her in, some old grandma somewhere that doesn’t have social media or TV or anything, going to comfort her and feed her. You’ve got to have hope.”
Pennington County Sheriff’s Chief of Investigations Captain Corey Brubakken says investigators are obviously frustrated they haven’t been able to provide answers to Serenity’s extended family
Captain Brubakken says they simply don’t have any factual evidence that would support or disprove claims that someone did take her.
Sheriff Kevin Thom says his office will continue working with multiple agencies to bring Serenity home. He plans to bring in more dog teams for grid searches, weather permitting, but is afraid the effort will have to wait until the snow melts.