2016 has been the “Year of the Family” for KYK9 as many requests for our search services have come directly from families who are desperately trying to find a missing loved one. Each of these families has shown strength, courage, and love, coping with the not-knowing and the fear of never finding their loved one.
The year started with UPS pilot, Mike Kimsey’s, remains being found. He had been missing for 7 months and his cause of death was determined to be unknown. Michael’s parents and sister included KYK9 as part of the family as they grieved and said goodbye.
On a search in Western Kentucky, we were looking for the missing brother of a deputy sheriff. After a long day searching, K9 Pocket scooted under a massive hillside thicket, and returned indicating that she had located the brother’s remains. We humans could not penetrate the tangled briars. Our search partner, Scott Heltsley, returned to the area multiple times and was ultimately able to recover the brother’s remains. Scott received the KY Sheriff Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his effort, which he shared with Pocket!
On an urban search for a woman with suicidal ideations, K9 Remy gave us direction of travel to the area where the woman was located. On a search in the hills of Eastern Kentucky for a young man who went missing under suspicious circumstances, K9 Pocket, working the hill’s ridgelines, indicated the area where the man’s body was ultimately recovered.
Since July 6, KYK9 has been searching for Bobby Jones and Crystal Warner, a young couple shot and killed in Springfield, KY, by a tenant who owed back rent. The suspect was arrested and awaits trial, but refused to reveal the location of the bodies. In August, Bobby’s body was found 2 hours from the crime scene. Crystal’s remains were finally found last week on November 30, 25 miles from Bobby’s body. We so admire the strength and faith the families have shown during this tragedy.
During our many searches this year, KYK9 gained new volunteer members who are dedicated, selfless and talented searchers: Sarah, Joe, JD, Chrissy, Jamie, Tresa, and Mary. They are a wonderful addition to the KYK9 team, joining searchers Julie, Chip, Rachael and Chris.
For the first time, KYK9 hosted a training seminar with nationally renowned trainer Matt Zarrella, a retired Rhode Island State Trooper. The seminar was a great success with dog teams coming from NY, OH, PA, and RI. K9 Pocket is now nationally certified in Crime Scene Evidence and Water HRD.
We are so very thankful for your continued, vital financial support of KYK9. This year, in addition to raising funds to cover search and training costs, we have two (2) immediate funding needs: $3,400 for KYK9’s hazardous duty liability insurance and $4,500 to pay outstanding vet bills. Searching this year was particularly treacherous, requiring unexpected emergency medical care for Pocket and Remy.
Thank you for believing in KYK9’s mission and financially supporting our search work.
Jennifer Jordan Hall