Nearly four weeks after a nine-year-old girl vanished from a group home in South Dakota, those who believe that she is out there waiting to be rescued are stepping up their efforts to find her.
In spite of the little girl's grim prospects, these angels have gone ahead and created updated flyers on Serenity Dennard and are diligently posting them anywhere they think might be helpful.
If you’ve been following the story about little Serenity, then you know that authorities believe the nine-year-old left on her own accord from the South Dakota children’s home where she had been living. You also must realize that the longer she’s gone, the worse her chances become.
Now, even the police are losing hope, saying that it’s a real possibility that she will not be found safe.
“Serenity Dennard walked away from the Black Hills Home Society in the Rockerville area and if she’s been outside the entire time since going missing, she’s likely dead, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office told KELO on February sixth, four days after she vanished.
KOTA News reports, “Serenity Dennard is a nine-year-old Caucasian female, 4 foot 7 inches, 96 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder length dark blonde hair.
“She was wearing only a long-sleeved grey shirt with flowers, blue jeans, and black snow boots--no coat.
“Serenity was last seen on South Rockerville Road near the Black Hills Children’s Home at around 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019.”
There have been no reported sightings since.
“So far, the sheriff's office has conducted 188 interviews and served three search warrants. There have been 45 leads from South Dakota and other states, and all have been looked into by the sheriff's office or out-of-state agencies.
“The sheriff's office is also telling the FBI about the out-of-state leads,” said Helene Duhamel, spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
Now, almost four weeks later, with still no sign of the nine-year-old, the chances for a good outcome is even grimmer. Investigators are bracing themselves for the worst. If she has, indeed, been outdoors the entire time she couldn't possibly have survived.
“However they have not ruled out the possibility she could still be alive in a warm shelter or was picked up by someone.”
And that is the hope they are clinging to during the grueling rescue/recovery effort. The harsh Dakota winter weather and arctic temperatures are making their job extremely challenging, if not impossible. They have had to suspend the search on more than one occasion.
Pennington County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Willie Welchel says the team is hoping for a break in the weather.
“With the real cold temperatures and snow, what we really need is a break in this weather, for that too, but we're trying to get those resources just as soon as we can," Whelchel said.
“The effort officially transitioned from a search-and-rescue to recovery on Wednesday [February 6th], the sheriff’s office told KEVN. But they’re NOT saying they are giving up.
At the same time, “the Sheriff stressed that someone could have picked her up or she could have made it to an indoor location on her own and that she could still be alive.”
And that’s what we continue to hope. Please pray that Serenity has found her way into the arms of loving, caring people and that she will be found one day very soon.
Authorities are still asking the public to be on the lookout for little Serenity and, if they have any information that might be helpful in the investigation, to call the sheriff's office at 605-394-6115.