The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has successfully located a missing 11-year-old girl, thanks to the invaluable assistance of K-9 Mary Lu.
On January 26, authorities received a report of the young girl’s disappearance from her residence in Wimauma, a quiet town situated approximately 30 miles southeast of Tampa, Florida.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office promptly dispatched Deputy Sarah Ernstes and her K-9 partner, Mary Lu, to aid in the search.
Upon arrival at the scene on Carlton Lake Drive, Deputy Ernstes and K-9 Mary Lu immediately set out on the search and rescue mission.
With Mary Lu’s exceptional olfactory capabilities, the duo quickly picked up the missing child’s scent, leading them to a neighbor’s house, where it was revealed that the girl had been given a ride to a nearby apartment complex.
The team then proceeded to the apartment complex, where the canine focused on a locked bathroom door at a nearby park, alerting deputies to the location of the missing girl.
In the dramatic moment captured on video and shared by the sheriff’s office, Deputy Ernstes and Mary Lu can be seen approaching the park, with Mary Lu eagerly sniffing out the area.
Upon reaching the park’s public bathrooms, Mary Lu’s excitement indicated that the child was nearby.
“The missing child was found safe and without injury,” the sheriff’s office announced in a Facebook post.
Deputies were able to persuade the girl to unlock the door, facilitating her safe reunion with her family.
As the child emerged from the bathroom, Deputy Ernstes rewarded Mary Lu with words of praise.
“What a good puppy, yes, ma’am,” exclaimed Deputy Ernstes.
Sheriff Chad Chronister commended the exemplary performance of Deputy Ernstes and K-9 Mary Lu.
“Our HCSO K9 Unit has once again proven its invaluable role in our community,” the sheriff stated. “With their exceptional skills, they successfully located and brought home a missing 11-year-old girl, reuniting her safely with her family.”