DEKALB COUNTY, Tenn. (WFLA) — A Tennesee sheriff’s office K9 named Fred is being credited with finding a 6-year-old girl who had been missing for a month in Tennessee.
According to a release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were notified June 16 that the child, Kinzleigh, was last seen by a family member on May 26. She was believed to have been abducted by her father, Nicholas Reeder.
Authorities launched a search that included airplanes, thermal imaging and drones, spending hundreds of hours trying to find the girl.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department was contacted to help in the search with its bloodhound named Fred. Fred was able to locate a scent that led to an outbuilding located on the property belonging to Reeder.
According to Fred’s handler K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell the pup was excited to find her.
“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug,” Tidwell said of the encounter of Fred and Kinzleigh.
Officers say the door was barricaded, and the windows were covered up with metal. There was no ventilation and air conditioning, and there was very little food or water for the child.
The building smelled strongly of ammonia, as the two had been urinating and defacating in a five-gallon bucket.
Reeder faces charges for child abuse or neglect. He also had warrants for failure to appear and custodial interference. His bond was set at $175,000.
Tidwell said Fred gets a reward of chicken to feast on when he makes a successful find. This time he received an extra treat of pizza crusts. “I praised him and loved on him,” Tidwell said. “I pulled the chicken reward out of my pocket. He ate the chicken and wanted to meet other people as if to say, ‘Look what I’ve done.’”
The child was released to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.