A woman who lived alone was reported missing by her employer when she failed to show up at work on Monday March 21, 2011. She was last seen by a neighbor 12:30 AM on Sunday March 20. A search was initiated on immediately and police secured the scene. We conducted a live search looking for direction of travel with no success. Tuesday other dog teams were used and we stayed in Louisville, as I was attending a mandatory deputy coroner’s class. On Wednesday March 23, the third day of the search, we returned and I sought permission to take Remy and Scout into the missing woman’s trailer home on a human remains command (Scout and Remy are crossed trained on live and human remains).
In the home, neither dog gave a cadaver alert. But Remy acted really strangely and was very interested in the bed. Remy showed intense interest in the floor around the headboard and bedroom door. So I brought in Scout. Scout intensely smelled everything on the bed and headboard really slowly. Scout pulled me down to the floor at the header of the bed. It looked like a base board went all the way across the front of the bed, but Scout pulled harder, revealing an open slot in the middle of the bed. Scout went all the way under the bed and then made a sudden loud bark. I thought I heard something. The Fire Chief gave me his flashlight and held Scout while I crawled to look into the space. I saw a blanket and put my hand out to move it. I felt a leg. Then I saw the silhouette of a person in a fetal position under the blanket. I was shocked. The day before I had seen my first autopsy and I hoped my mind was playing tricks on me. The Chief and I went to get help, but a huge hail storm hit, trapping us in the trailer. Finally as the storm let up, police detectives arrived, and confirmed that a body was under the bed. Then the woman moved and I heard loud gasping breathes. The woman was alive, barely. As police and firefighters extricated her from under the bed, she stopped breathing. They pulled her out and revived her, and she survived!
When K9 Scout found her, the woman had been under her bed for 4 days. She was severely dehydrated and literally near death. Scout's bark and touching her startled the woman, awaking her. Remy and Scout's behavior, small size and determined nature saved the day. Remy and Scout amaze me - they are so good at what they do. They correctly never gave a cadaver alert, but let me know they had found a person near death. Thank God I took them into the trailer home! They saved her life.