Lee County Bloodhound Teams located 2 missing Florida juveniles over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The 2 missing person recoveries for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office K9 Units happened within 2 weeks of each other. Dep. Travis Jelly and scent discriminate bloodhound K9 Mercy located a missing teen with autism on Dec. 22, 2020. The American Pediatric Association states that 50% of children with autism will wander and go missing at least once before age 17.
Sgt. Julio Lock and scent discriminate bloodhound, K9 Maggie, located another missing juvenile on Jan. 6. Sgt. Lock and K9 Maggie had their second missing person find just weeks after completing scent discriminate K9 and Missing Person Response Protocol training as part of the Bringing The Lost Home Project. Lock and Maggie located a missing endangered 82-year-old Ft. Myers Beach man with dementia during the last day of their week-long training session with Scent Evidence K9 CEO, Paul Coley on Oct. 30, 2020. “The commitment of Sheriff Carmine Marceno and the LCSO to provide advanced K9 search response capabilities is saving lives and bringing the lost home in the Ft. Myers area and surrounding community,” stated Coley. Read more about Sgt. Lock and Lee County Bloodhound, K9 Maggie Finding an Endangered Ft. Myers Beach Man HERE.
Search Deployment Reports from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
On December 22, 2020, Deputy Jelly and his bloodhound partner, Mercy, assisted the Cape Coral Police Department with a search for a missing autistic juvenile. Deputy Jelly deployed Mercy who trailed them to a canal bank. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit was on-scene, and due to Mercy’s trail, began searching the canal bank. The juvenile was located hiding in bushes on the canal bank. He was returned home unharmed.
On January 6, 2021, Sgt Lock and his bloodhound partner, Maggie, responded to an address in Fort Myers to search for a missing juvenile. Maggie was deployed and trailed approximately one-half mile to the area of a residence. The juvenile was located inside the residence and was returned home unharmed.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office Strengthens K9 Search Capabilities with Bringing The Lost Home Project
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office’s participation in the Bringing The Lost Home Project is expanding their K9 search resources and building upon their ReUnite and Deputy Dogs on Patrol Scent Kit Program to help recover missing persons faster and save lives. The expanded K9 Training program, Missing Person Response Protocol Training, and Alzheimer’s Awareness Training are part of The Bringing The Lost Home Project championed by Rep. Scott Plakon. The Bringing The Lost Home Project is part of a bill in partnership with The Alzheimer’s Project that provides advanced K9 search response methods and innovative scent collection technology to selected participating Florida agencies. The bill, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019 and 2020 has so far included Sheriff’s Offices and Police Departments in Bay, Sumter, Seminole, Leon(Tallahassee PD), St. Johns, Franklin, Lee, and Marion Counties.
Bringing The Lost Home also increases community awareness of wandering events that occur with high-risk populations with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementia and autism. The BTLH Project implements a Scent Kit Program in each county to provide residents with a way to pre-collect the unique scent of a family member or someone they care for that is at risk of wandering and going missing. Having a Scent Kit prepared in advance gives K9 responders an uncontaminated scent article to search with, resulting in faster recovery times and more accurate searches.
Learn more about the Bringing The Lost Home Project HERE.
Learn how having a Scent Kit prepared can help K9 responders find a missing loved one HERE.
Learn more about Scent Discriminate K9 Training HERE.