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Bowie PD K9 Team Finds Missing 12-Year-Old Girl

The Bowie PD K9 Team of Cpl. Ryan Shifflett and K9 Copper responded to a call involving a missing 12-year-old girl. Cpl. Shifflett and K9 Copper were called to assist the Prince Georges County Police Department in the search for a critical missing juvenile. K9 Copper conducted a trail for approximately a half-mile and found the child unharmed. Bowie Police Department representatives said, “This duo is a valued unit of our department and we couldn’t be more proud of their hard work!”

Bowie PD K9 Team Finds Missing GirlCpl. Shifflett and K9 Copper recently attended a Scent Evidence K9 Human Scent Discriminate K9 Training seminar and you can view one of their training trails below. Here is the Bowie PD Incident report.

Bowie Police Department Incident Report 11/5/20 – Bowie, MD

On 11/5/2020 at approximately 1450 hours, I, Cpl. Shifflett received a call from Cpl. Smith (P.G.P.D K-9) to assist with a missing person search. I then responded to 11905 Chantilly Lane for a critical missing juvenile threatening to commit suicide. Upon arrival, I met with Cpl. Goldberg (P.G.P.D K-9). After speaking with him I obtained a scent article from a bag of clothes that was laying on the ground. I then acclimated and started the trail toward the rear of the home (location last seen). We trailed through a farm, golf course, and wooded area. The missing juvenile was located on the side of a ravine in the woods approximately one-half mile from the home. 

Bowie PD K9 Team Attends Scent Evidence K9 Training Seminar

Cpl. Shifflett and K9 Copper attended a 3-week Scent Evidence K9 Human Scent Discriminate Traning Seminar in Nov. of 2019 to increase their K9 Search effectiveness and increase their location results. The K9 Team learned new trailing techniques and scent collection methods to conduct search deployments in wooded areas and hard surface urban areas. Paul Coley, CEO, and developer of the M77 Scent Discriminate Training Plan said, “Cpl. Shifflett and K9 Copper exhibited a great work ethic and passion for honing their trailing skills and search methods. Their dedication to providing effective K9 search services to their community has saved a little girl’s life in Maryland.”

CLICK HERE to see The City of Bowie Police Department’s Facebook post about the lifesaving search.

The Bowie Police Department also received funding from the Chesapeake K9 Fund to purchase The SEKR, an innovative scent evidence collection vacuum that helps K9 responders collect an uncontaminated scent article that can dramatically improve search effectiveness.

People who are suicidal are among the at-risk populations who are likely to go missing. Also at high risk of wandering and elopement are people with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia dn children with autism. The Alzheimer’s Association states that 60% of those with Alzheimer’s will wander and go missing. The American Pediatric Association states that 50% of children with autism will wander at least once before age 17.

To help K9 responders find these at-risk groups faster, Scent Evidence K9 has developed the Scent Preservation Kit. The Scent Kit allows family members and caregivers to pre-collect a person’s unique scent and store it for up to 10 years. Having an uncontaminated scent article available for K9 Search responders allows them to begin searching immediately with faster and more accurate results to bring the lost home.

Here’s a training trail from Cpl. Shifflett and K9 Copper during last year’s Scent Evidence K9 Training Seminar.