Dennard Remains Missing, Officials Consider Next Steps

Feb 11, 2019

Credit South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation

 Pennington County authorities say they are regrouping after specialized canines and search crews did not find Serenity Dennard over the weekend. 


Serenity is a nine-year-old girl who walked away from the Black Hills Children's Home in Rockerville on February 3rd. 


Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom  says authorities continue to investigate this case. 









"And to date, we've conducted 115 interviews, we've served two search warrants, working on a third search warrant - those are largely related to records - it's a legal process to obtain the records that we're looking for. We've canvassed 10 businesses looking to see if they had video at their businesses during the timeframes that we were concerned with. Seven of those had video that we've reviewed. We've used our Internet Crimes Against Children - it's called ICAC - unit to do computer forensics for us. And, we're currently following up on 23 leads, that we've received." 


Officials say they’ve searched beyond the one-mile radius of Children’s Home. Tammy Stadel is the search and rescue team leader.




"So, we've searched all the way up to Highway 16, including down south to Highway 40. As you go further south from the Children's Home, the terrain almost becomes impassible unless you are on one of the roads or the forest service trails. But, we have expanded the search radius especially with the aircraft that we've utilized and then we've had teams that have gone out, mostly north and then east and west." 


Authorities say search dogs were used to examine places along a nearby creek.   


Stadel says officials plan to use search dogs again in the future. A helicopter also assisted more than 50 people and six canines this weekend in the recovery effort.


Authorities note the recent snowfall and cold temperatures have made the search more difficult. 


Anyone who has seen Serenity Dennard or has information related to the case should contact the Pennington County Sheriff's Office in Rapid City.