SD SD - Serenity Dennard, 9, Children’s Home Society, Pennington County, 3 Feb 2019 #4

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by cybervampira, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    JAN 16, 2020
    Another unsuccessful search for Serenity Dennard

    [​IMG]
    Searchers look for Serenity in the Black Hills, 1/16/20. Photo from the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

    Fifteen people searched the Black Hills--again--for missing nine year old Serenity Dennard.

    [...]
     
    Lynetta, Seattle1, Jim_M and 18 others like this.


  2. sleuther0192837465

    sleuther0192837465 Stand up for what is right even if you stand alone

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    Been lurking for awhile now & something stinks with this case. I hope they find lil Serenity, and that’s all I’m going to say ATM. MOO
     
  3. misgrn

    misgrn Well-Known Member

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    'In Pursuit with John Walsh' to air short segment on Serenity Dennard

    "Internationally known victims’ advocate John Walsh is aiding the search for Serenity Dennard. Information about the missing child will be featured today in an episode of “In Pursuit with John Walsh” on the Investigation Discovery network.

    The 30-second clip shows photos of Serenity and briefly explains how and when she disappeared.

    ....


    “We don’t currently have anything scheduled at this time for another search,” she said Tuesday. “We are, of course, still investigating and as leads come up, we do follow up on those. … We’re definitely not done looking for her.”

    Bloomenrader anticipated more searches would be scheduled in the future when the weather improves."
     
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  4. bradfordsleuth

    bradfordsleuth Well-Known Member

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    Bumping this forward.

    Its only going to be a 30 second clip ...here is the link to Investigation Discovery to watch it.

    Investigation Discovery - Official Site
     
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  5. girlhasnoname

    girlhasnoname Well-Known Member

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    I was coming to post a link to the quick shout out for Serenity on John Walsh's show, but of course you guys are on it. :)

    It gave me hope that there are still people who are on the lookout for her.
     
  6. Burnt_Biscuits

    Burnt_Biscuits Active Member

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    Special update on Serenity Black Hills Fox news, go to their FB page
     
  7. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    Good exposure for Serenity!

    The search for Serenity Dennard is the largest in South Dakota's history; and there still is no closure. "The Search for Serenity," a KOTA Territory News special report, airs on KEVN Black Hills Fox, 11:30 p.m., Sunday.
     
  8. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    JAN 29, 2020
    SERENITY DENNARD DISAPPEARANCE: One year later, mystery still unsolved despite extensive search and investigation | South Dakota News Watch
    Despite a search by more than 1,200 people covering 4,500 miles of woodlands, and an investigation tracking down more than 220 leads and involving 465 interviews, Serenity Dennard remains missing and her fate remains a mystery.

    [...]

    Pennington County authorities have not ruled out anything, but their working theory is that Serenity ran into the woods, got lost and froze to death or died of hypothermia.

    [...]

    As the one-year anniversary of Serenity’s disappearance approaches, South Dakota News Watch interviewed several of the people who cared for Serenity and are in mourning, those who are searching for her and refuse to give up, and those who are investigating her disappearance and still following leads. The reporting has led to several discoveries, including:

    — Serenity was known to run away frequently from her family home in Sturgis. Runaway prevention was part of the reason for her placement and part of her treatment plan at Black Hills Children’s Home. Serenity tried to run away one week before her final escape and was placed on a protocol of “arm’s length only” monitoring. But for reasons unknown, the strict runaway-prevention effort was ended a day or two before her Feb. 3 escape, according to Serenity’s adoptive father and his wife, who are her primary caretakers.

    [...]

    — Serenity’s adoptive parents, now divorced, and their loved ones have had their sorrow and stress worsened by criticisms and outrageous false statements on social media and a website created about the case. Serenity’s adoptive mother has been accused of involvement in her disappearance, even though she was at work when the girl went missing and investigators do not suspect any of the parents. Serenity’s adoptive father has had strangers take pictures of his other children playing outside his home and has been accused of giving his daughter a phone in a plot to help her escape.

    — Sheriff’s officials believe Serenity was out of sight of two eyewitnesses who saw her run away for only three to four minutes before the pair began to search for her by driving up and down South Rockerville Road, where Serenity was last seen walking north. That brief head start also applies to employees of the home who began to search shortly thereafter on foot and in vehicles.

    [...]

    [​IMG]
    Source: Jamin Hartland, Pennington County Sheriff's Department | Graphic: Tim Murray, Matt Jensen Marketing MJM

    [...]

    Hartland and Sheriff Kevin Thom say it is highly unlikely that Serenity was taken by a stranger or someone driving by.

    They base that view on the short period of time Serenity was out of sight; the fact that she was walking in snow boots on a rural stretch of a road trafficked almost exclusively by locals during winter; and the fact that it was late morning on chilly Super Bowl Sunday.

    “I can’t even begin to calculate the odds that someone who would be willing to violently abduct a child happened by on a rural western South Dakota road within the few minutes they had to do that and successfully abducted her,” Hartland said.

    [...]

    [​IMG]
    The Black Hills Children's Home is located in a remote area of Pennington County about 20 miles southwest of Rapid City. This photo shows the path witnesses say Serenity ran down prior to entering the parking lot and venturing out to Rockerville Road, where she was last seen heading north.

    [...]

    The witnesses said about three to five minutes elapsed from when they watched Serenity running to when they first notified the cook. Then, another three or four minutes went by from when they lost sight of Serenity to when they drove onto Rockerville Road to begin searching.

    At the time of the runaway, 15 staff and 37 children were at the facility, Lavallee said. Four staff members began searching for Serenity as soon as they were notified; one more joined in later. Lavallee said that the on-call supervisor was contacted at home and advised staff to continue searching for 15 minutes more before calling 911.

    When that supervisor arrived on scene about 80 minutes later, 911 still had not been called, so the supervisor then called authorities to report the runaway, Lavallee said.

    [...]


    Pennington County Sheriff's detective Jamin Hartland is the lead investigator into the disappearance of Serenity Dennard, and he keeps the red case file at the ready in case new information arises. In the video, Hartland shares his latest views on the case and talks of how the as yet unsuccessful yearlong effort has affected him.


    Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom reviews the map that indicates areas around the Black Hills Children's Home that have been searched in the effort to find Serenity Dennard or evidence of her in the woods. In the video, Thom discusses the extent of his department's search, challenges that have arisen, and what it's like to be looking for a missing child.


    Gail Schmidt is the chief of the Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department and has been one of the most prolific searchers in the hunt to find Serenity Dennard. In the video, Schmidt discusses the challenges of searching in the area around the Black Hills Children's Home and shares her unique motivation for searching so hard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  9. Burnt_Biscuits

    Burnt_Biscuits Active Member

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  10. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    From the article:

    [...]

    Chad and the children visited Serenity at the children’s home the day before Serenity ran away. He remembers a fairly normal visit, with Serenity (a budding foodie) sharing detailed accounts of the meals she was served, and the children playing peacefully as a group for about 90 minutes.

    “I said, ‘Well, Seren, we’ve got to go, we’ll see you next week,’” and he gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye. “She said, ‘OK. I love you, bye.’ And she ran back because they were showing ‘Maleficent’ and that was her favorite movie,” Chad recalled.

    [...]

    Serenity had run away numerous times, they said, because she would begin to feel uneasy in her stable environment, wondering if the love, support and good times could really last. She ran away during the day and at night; on foot and on her bike; sometimes on a whim and sometimes with a packed bag and a plan to go somewhere specific. The police in Sturgis got to know her and would bring her home, KaSandra said.

    [...]

    They have both been attacked on social media by strangers who question their parenting, or worse. Their children have been bullied at school. Overall, though, they have felt great support from neighbors, friends and community members in Sturgis and across the Black Hills, they said.

    [...]



    [...]

    Darcie Gentry is Serenity’s legal adoptive mother who now lives with her husband, Brian, in a home in Rapid Valley, east of Rapid City. Gentry was married to Chad Dennard when they adopted Serenity in 2014 after fostering her for several months.

    [...]

    “She and I had a special bond,” Gentry said of Serenity. “We did mother-daughter things, getting our hair and nails done, going shopping. I could get her to calm down when she needed that.”

    [...]

    Attacks on her character have been common on social media, and she has had to make her Facebook page private at times when strangers would blame her for Serenity’s decision to run away, or when she would become overwhelmed by messages from strangers who are also seeking a missing loved one.

    [...]



    [...]
     
  11. Sneaker33

    Sneaker33 Well-Known Member

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    I realize Serenity was in a very rural area but there is technology available to help find individuals who are at risk of wandering or running off. There is literally a forest in back of my home and after we had a somewhat similar situation with a happy outcome we purchased a Safety Net bracelet which uses radio waves. It would be my hope schools such as this would have something in place. GPS devices are good but are limited in range.
     
  12. bradfordsleuth

    bradfordsleuth Well-Known Member

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    I can't even begin to imagine how gut wrenching this is for her parents, as well as the staff there.

    They adopted a beautiful child that had been faced with so many different challenges and they likely had high hopes that she could adapt to a 'normal' life with them.

    Then to make what must have been an enormously difficult decision to have her live at Black Hills Childrens Home, and feel it would be a better place to help prevent her from running away...keep her safe, and then this happens.

    To know that she was a habitual runner, it must be the one thing for them to hang onto as some shred of hope that she is alive and perhaps ran away.

    If asked if I ever had hope that a missing child was still alive....I would reference this case.

    Serenity was not a 'normal' 9 year-old....she seemed like she was a very smart and very resourceful child. She planned this very carefully....distract and then bolt! That's what still gives me hope....

    Then my fear for her really kicks in....if she is alive, surely no responsible and upstanding adult would harbour a runaway for almost a year?

    I begin to wonder if there is any way she doubled back unseen and hid in back of an unlocked car whos driver unknowingly drove her away?

    I know that it is easy for searchers to miss bodies in that type of terrain....but this case feels different.

    I think she is alive.

    JMO
     
  13. kay74

    kay74 Well-Known Member

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    I hope she is alive, but do you think someone there would take a chance on taking her. That is kidnapping. You're talking prison time. I sooo wish someone did pick her up and she is okay and being taken care of and I wish we knew that and would tell that person or persons that it's fine, you are a hero. Thank You.
     
  14. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    I pray that by some miracle you're right! MOO
     
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  15. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    JAN 30, 2020
    Serenity Dennard Disappearance: year later, mystery unsolved
    [...]

    As the one-year anniversary of Serenity’s disappearance approaches, South Dakota News Watch interviewed several people close to Serenity or her case. The reporting has led to several discoveries, including:


    Serenity was known to run away frequently from her family home in Sturgis. Runaway prevention was part of the reason for her placement and part of her treatment plan at Black Hills Children’s Home. Serenity tried to run away one week before her final escape and was placed on a protocol of “arm’s length only” monitoring. But for reasons unexplained, the strict runaway-prevention effort was ended a day or two before her Feb. 3 escape, according to Serenity’s adoptive father and his wife, who are her primary caretakers.​

    [...]

    Serenity’s adoptive parents, now divorced, and their loved ones have had their sorrow and stress worsened by criticisms and outrageous false statements on social media and a website created about the case. Serenity’s adoptive mother has been accused of involvement in her disappearance, even though she was at work when the girl went missing and investigators do not suspect any of the parents. Serenity’s adoptive father has had strangers take pictures of his other children playing outside his home and has been accused of giving his daughter a phone in a plot to help her escape.​

    [...]

    Hartland and Sheriff Kevin Thom say it is highly unlikely that Serenity was taken by a stranger or someone driving by. They base that view on the short period of time Serenity was out of sight; the fact that she was walking in snow boots on a rural stretch of a road trafficked almost exclusively by locals during winter; and the fact that it was late morning on a chilly Super Bowl Sunday.

    “I can’t even begin to calculate the odds that someone who would be willing to violently abduct a child happened by on a rural western South Dakota road within the few minutes they had to do that and successfully abducted her,” Hartland said.

    Cadaver dogs searching for her have picked up scents, but it is unknown if the odors emanated from Serenity.

    [...]

    Serenity and another girl made an impromptu plan that the girl would distract staff members so Serenity could run away, Hartland said. When the girl ran out of the gym and back into the main building, one staff member chased her while the other stayed and supervised the remaining children.​

    [...]

    The witnesses said about three to five minutes elapsed from when they watched
    Serenity running to when they first notified the cook. Then, another three or four minutes went by from when they lost sight of Serenity to when they drove onto Rockerville Road to begin searching.​

    [...]

    The department also gave immediate national attention to the case by reporting
    Serenity as a missing person with the National Crime Information Center, and the next day issuing a national Missing and Endangered Person alert, which is one step above the NCIC notification, Sheriff Thom said.​

    [...]

    In the days after, detectives interviewed children’s home employees and residents who were at the home the day Serenity left. Eventually, Hartland said, his team interviewed all employees or former employees of the home who had had any contact with Serenity, about 100 people in all.

    Investigators also interviewed both sets of Serenity’s adoptive parents and her birth parents, and none are considered suspects, Hartland said.

    “We’ve been criticized for not investigating the children’s home staff and the families, when in fact those are two of the first things we did,” Hartland said.

    [...]

    The weather turned bad the day Serenity ran away, with temperatures below freezing and snow that fell and stayed for several weeks, hampering the search and reducing the chances Serenity could survive outside for more than a few hours, Thom said.

    “In terms of Serenity specifically, she’s very small, she’s 4-foot-9, roughly 90-some pounds, so if she’s in the woods and got lost, at the point you’re becoming hypothermic, there’s the potential that you find a spot to curl up to get warm, under a rock ledge or next to a log,” Thom said. “Experienced searchers will tell you that it’s not uncommon to walk past people multiple times in an area once they get hidden and you can be a few feet from someone and walk right past them.”

    [...]

    The sheriff’s office consulted a pediatrician who said that given Serenity’s age, size and the weather, she possibly could have walked three to four miles from the children’s home, presenting searchers with a giant area to search.

    Thom noted that his department has an ongoing case in which a man remains lost in the Black Hills. Experienced elk hunter Larry Genzlinger, 66, of Howard, was hunting near Deerfield Lake in the Black Hills on Oct. 1 and has not been found despite an aggressive search.

    [...]
     
  16. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    FEB 1, 2020
    Serenity Dennard disappearance: One year later, girl’s fate unknown despite extensive search and investigation
    [...]

    [​IMG]
    This map shows lines where people and dogs have searched for Serenity Dennard in the area around the Black Hills Children's Home south of Rockerville. The lines, recorded by GPS devices, are blue in places where people have searched and red in spots where people and dogs have searched together. The hand of Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom is pointing to where Serenity Dennard was last seen, about 50 yards north of the entrance to the children's home. (Photo: Bart Pfankuch / South Dakota News Watch)

    [...]

    [​IMG]
    This photo shows the type of terrain where authorities believe Serenity Dennard may have gotten lost after running away from the Black Hills Children's Home on Feb. 3, 2019. This photo is of a wooded area very close to the spot of the last known sighting of Serenity. (Photo: South Dakota News Watch)

    […]
     
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  17. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    It breaks my heart each and every time I read this thread and see pictures of the search area. I so wish she would be found.
     
  18. Dave F.

    Dave F. WHERE IS KK NOW?

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    The weather conditions on February 3, 2019 are VERY important. The first attachment shows the recorded weather for Rapid City, which started out at midnight with a high of 41 degrees F for the day. The temperature dropped slowly during the day dropping into the teens by sunset at 5:05 pm. There was a gentle breeze all day, coming from the north. In the black hills, the sheltered valleys are slightly warmer, and a gentle breeze is blocked. When SD left the Black Hills Children’s Home, she had an absolute deadline…...she had to be sheltered by 5:05 pm. The nighttime conditions of extremely cold temperatures and heavy falling snow made for slim chance of survival.

    SD walked out of the gym door at about 10:45 am, and was seen walking toward the main entrance, which is a cattle guard; by a grandmother and grand-daughter that were visiting the home. The grandmother went to alarm staff, while the grand-daughter watched as SD stumbled crossing the cattle guard and started walking northward on South Rockerville Road. She lost sight of SD when she was about sixty yards up the road, due to terrain and trees.

    The first attachment is a Google Maps and Directions screenshot which plots the route of SD from the south gymnasium door at Black Hills Children’s Home at 10:45 am to the last sighting of her by wood gatherers crossing the cattle guard set in South Rockerville Road at it’s intersection with (north) Foster Gulch Road at 11:20 am. Google calculates it was 9/10 of a mile walking, and says it should take a healthy adult 20 minutes. SD had used 35 minutes, but she was not an adult and had a somewhat shorter stride. Nevertheless, the conclusion is that Serenity, when last seen was leisurely walking northward along the main road. In my opinion, that leisurely stride was important to enabling her to walk farther than authorities have assumed.

    The second attachment is the Google Maps and Directions calculation for the walking distance and time to Reptile Gardens…..an extremely large tourist venue with a gigantic parking lot and public telephone facilities. Even on a warm Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, The parking lot would be full of cars, some of which might be unlocked. It would be a perfect location for picking up needed items like hat, coat and gloves. This 9.9 miles, which would take an adult 3 hrs 11 minutes to walk. At the pace she was walking, SD would have made it in 5 hrs 56 minutes, approximating her arrival at 4:11 pm. From this point northward to south Rapid City the four lane highway is lined with motels, fast food restaurants, etc. Reptile Gardens parking lot would have been an excellent place to get a ride into Rapid City, or to call for a ride and wait for that person to pick her up.

    If I understand the back story correctly, SD has many biological relatives on her paternal side in Rapid City and New Underwood (which is 22 miles east of Rapid City. She also reportedly has as many as eighteen prior foster families in the Rapid City area. She was not shy and she knew a lot of people for a nine year old, IMO.

    The third attachment is a Google Maps and Directions screenshot which shows the distance from Reptile Gardens to Ruby Tuesday, which is kind of in the heart of the south Rapid City hotel-motel-motel-restaurant area.

    Weather in February 2019 in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA
    UPDATE: Investigators speak to couple who saw missing 9-year-old
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. MrsWatson

    MrsWatson Well-Known Member

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    It's heartbreaking that she is still missing. I feel so very badly for those close to her. It seems like she had a lot of people who loved her and wanted the best for her and made hard choices to protect her and nurture her.
     
  20. Seattle1

    Seattle1 #LiveLikeLizzy

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    ^^sbbm
    Serenity was just that -- a 9 year old child that was afraid of the dark, and walked outside wearing only snowboots and light clothing. It's so unreal to propose that she would walk 9.9 miles, pick up a hat, coat, gloves in an unlocked car, and what --live happily ever after? :eek::eek:
     
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