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

FEB 3, 2023
Friday marks the four-year anniversary of the disappearance of then-9-year-old Serenity Dennard after she ran away from the Black Hills Children’s Home near Rockerville at 11:20 a.m. February 3, 2019. Her disappearance set off a nearly two-year-long search by dozens of agencies, hundreds of members of law enforcement, and thousands of volunteers.

She has still not been found, but the case remains open, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said they continue to pursue every lead they find.

[...]

Search efforts throughout all this time were both extensive and thorough, but they couldn’t be kept up forever.

On January 28, 2021, the search for Serenity Dennard was called off.

The case remains open. If you have any information about what happened to Serenity, please contact the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at (605) 394-6115.
 
Serenity Dennard

Some people monitoring the missing person’s case feel disappointed that Serenity was able to escape from the locked Children’s Home Society facility on Feb. 3, 2019.

Others seethe with anger that employees of the complex near Rockerville waited 80 minutes to call 911 after she ran away in the middle of winter without a coat.

Many remain consumed with curiosity over how a young girl on foot with less than a five-minute head start could evade an initial search by employees and remain lost after a two-year, manpower-heavy search of the craggy, wooded Black Hills area.

And a few others, some with social media proclivities and only scant knowledge of the law enforcement investigation that took on national proportions are pained by their insistence that Serenity was abducted by a stranger driving on a rural road, a neighbor of the children’s home, an employee of the facility or even a member of Serenity’s extended family.

But hovering above the entire tragedy is a painful sadness that remains top of mind and fresh of heart in all those who played a role in Serenity’s life or the effort to find her and who want nothing more than to bring closure to a haunting mystery with no answer in sight.

“The lasting emotion for me is that I still hurt that she’s not found,” said Tony Harrison, a former captain in the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office who oversaw portions of the physical search for Serenity and the missing person’s investigation.

“I still hurt for the family. I hurt for the thousands of people who volunteered to search for her. I hurt for the investigators that absolutely poured their entire day every day for years into this case. And I hurt for myself a little bit as a dad because there’s nothing worse than not being able to find a little girl.”
 
Serenity Dennard disappearance


This file photo of a map shows lines where people and dogs 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 home.

Serenity Dennard disappearance

KaSandra and Chad Dennard hold a photo of Serenity and her favorite stuffed unicorn while sitting on her bed in their Sturgis home in this file photo
 
Serenity Dennard disappearance


This file photo of a map shows lines where people and dogs 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 home.

Serenity Dennard disappearance

KaSandra and Chad Dennard hold a photo of Serenity and her favorite stuffed unicorn while sitting on her bed in their Sturgis home in this file photo
I agree with this thinking...

Authorities haven’t ruled out anything but have settled on a working theory that the mischievous girl quickly made her way into the remote section around the Black Hills Children’s Home, tried to hide and became lost before freezing to death, according to several law enforcement officials interviewed by News Watch in recent years.

While no individual has been conclusively cleared in the case, investigators said they do not believe a stranger or neighbor abducted her or that any member of her family or the facility had a hand in her disappearance.

Their doubts about a possible abduction arise largely from the fact that a woman and girl were in a car at the Black Hills Children’s Home and saw Serenity run away, then drove up and down Rockerville Road after her a few minutes later without seeing her or anyone else.

“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,” then-sheriff’s detective Jamin Hartland said in 2020.

AND

... Gentry said it seems likely that Serenity found a hidden final resting spot.

1680978439587.png
 
Did the children's home have a computer lab or tablets at that time? Usually they have student ID numbers and can see the student’s activity no matter what: what time they logged in, what sites they visited, etc. I guess if they had them someone would have checked already?

(I couldn’t find if someone had asked this or not.)
 
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Did the children's home have a computer lab or tablets at that time? Usually they have student ID numbers and can see the student’s activity no matter what: what time they logged in, what sites they visited, etc. I guess if they had them someone would have checked already?

(I couldn’t find if someone had asked this or not.)
Never stop asking questions! I’ve always wondered about the people who were dropping (?) off someone who saw her outside and said nothing right away. That’s always bothered me. You drive up to a children’s home in the middle of nowhere and see a child on the road outside of it and you do…….nothing? Nope. Just nope. IMO
 
Never stop asking questions! I’ve always wondered about the people who were dropping (?) off someone who saw her outside and said nothing right away. That’s always bothered me. You drive up to a children’s home in the middle of nowhere and see a child on the road outside of it and you do…….nothing? Nope. Just nope. IMO
They did do something, Stunned. The grandmother and her granddaughter saw Serenity run through the parking lot and the grandmother rang the bell at the home to alert the cook. Then she drove north on Rockerville Rd to look for Serenity but didn't see her. IIRC, she went up and down the road a few times and after that, she returned to the home. MOO
 
They did do something, Stunned. The grandmother and her granddaughter saw Serenity run through the parking lot and the grandmother rang the bell at the home to alert the cook. Then she drove north on Rockerville Rd to look for Serenity but didn't see her. IIRC, she went up and down the road a few times and after that, she returned to the home. MOO
Why did I think they didn’t? Was there someone else who saw her?
 
Did the children's home have a computer lab or tablets at that time? Usually they have student ID numbers and can see the student’s activity no matter what: what time they logged in, what sites they visited, etc. I guess if they had them someone would have checked already?

(I couldn’t find if someone had asked this or not.)
I recall it was during exercise or an active period that another resident held or rigged the door for Serenity to leave without sounding the door alarm for immediate detection. It's all been very tragic. JMO
 
I recall it was during exercise or an active period that another resident held or rigged the door for Serenity to leave without sounding the door alarm for immediate detection. It's all been very tragic. JMO
I wonder for every time before that as well. If she were to leave for someone, hence the reason she didn’t (or couldn’t) wear a coat, she could have been talking on some website to come and get her. Otherwise, I have no idea what to think.
 
I agree with this thinking...

Authorities haven’t ruled out anything but have settled on a working theory that the mischievous girl quickly made her way into the remote section around the Black Hills Children’s Home, tried to hide and became lost before freezing to death, according to several law enforcement officials interviewed by News Watch in recent years.

While no individual has been conclusively cleared in the case, investigators said they do not believe a stranger or neighbor abducted her or that any member of her family or the facility had a hand in her disappearance.

Their doubts about a possible abduction arise largely from the fact that a woman and girl were in a car at the Black Hills Children’s Home and saw Serenity run away, then drove up and down Rockerville Road after her a few minutes later without seeing her or anyone else.

“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,” then-sheriff’s detective Jamin Hartland said in 2020.

AND

... Gentry said it seems likely that Serenity found a hidden final resting spot.

View attachment 413593
I hope they pulled any cell tower info from that day. I really never expected this case not to be solved by now. The then sheriff's statement sounds naive.
But they should at least have all the phones that were hitting nearby ,just in case they need to review them.
 
I recall it was during exercise or an active period that another resident held or rigged the door for Serenity to leave without sounding the door alarm for immediate detection. It's all been very tragic. JMO
I didnt follow this that close, I know some stuff but I need to hike back to first thread and see and sleuth..but before I go back ..I do kinda remember a door issue , I also remember doubting the woman who said she saw her. I am going to start at the top and come back because whatever happened is somewhere between then and now. BBS!
 
I didnt follow this that close, I know some stuff but I need to hike back to first thread and see and sleuth..but before I go back ..I do kinda remember a door issue , I also remember doubting the woman who said she saw her. I am going to start at the top and come back because whatever happened is somewhere between then and now. BBS!

Agreed. I have issues with the timeline. I don't think that we ever had a complete, detailed timeline from LEO.

That being said, I believe that Serenity ran away, possibly for attention. Got lost. The snow started, and she hid under a tree, a rock for shelter. And probably froze to death.
 
FEB 1, 2020
[...]

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.

Serenity used the distraction to open the outside door and run away (for security and safe-exit purposes, doors in the children’s home are locked from the outside but not from the inside.) ...

[...]

... after Serenity left the gym, a woman and her granddaughter saw her, Hartland said. The pair had dropped off a child at the northernmost building on the campus and were driving on a campus path when they saw Serenity run through the parking lot and stumble on the cattle guard just short of the exit onto Rockerville Road.

While watching, the grandmother reversed the vehicle back to the main building, got out and rang a doorbell to alert a cook inside that a child was running away. ...

The granddaughter remained in the car and watched as Serenity, now walking, headed north on Rockerville Road.

After walking about 50 yards north of the complex entrance, Serenity went out of sight of the granddaughter, whose view was blocked by trees and topography.

When the grandmother returned to the car, the pair drove out of the children’s home complex and followed Serenity’s path north on Rockerville Road.

They drove a while and returned to the home, then retraced their route more than once, but they never saw Serenity again, and they never saw anyone or any vehicles, Hartland said.

[...]
 
Agreed. I have issues with the timeline. I don't think that we ever had a complete, detailed timeline from LEO.

That being said, I believe that Serenity ran away, possibly for attention. Got lost. The snow started, and she hid under a tree, a rock for shelter. And probably froze to death.
Its the most likely to have happened.
I think we need to my cousin Vinny up the scene. The description Of watching SD walk until she could not be seen because of trees and topography is a mathematical play ground .Weather,BMI, are all also part of that park . The direction of travel of the child running was north of the complex at the time of the sighting according to the link .
If she was in the woods and died there I really believe calculations can help narrow down the location by a lot.
Also if anyone thought to get photos of her room window ,if she had one , and what she could see from there or any other windows ,day and night perspective might shed some light on the plan of escape she might of been thinking about. IMO..
But this reported chain of events is very helpful.
 

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