K9 search team offers insight into missing persons cases

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

It's been eleven days since 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez went missing.

Officers have searched on the ground, in the sky and with dogs.

A local K-9 search group, the Sedgwick County Emergency Management K-9 team, can't talk about specific cases, so they couldn't say whether or not they have helped with the search for Hernandez.

But they did offer a look at how their team can help find a missing person.

Cody, a German Shepherd dog, demonstrated how he searches for a person, following the scent of a member of the K-9 team.

Canines in the SCEM K-9 team train twice a week for their important work.

Debbie McCurry is an officer with the team. She and other volunteers wait on standby to help in searches.

"We'll meet with the law enforcement that's on site and go from there," says McCurry.

The team has dogs that will search for missing children believed to be alive.

It also has dogs that specialize in finding human remains.

"They have a very high success rate," says McCurry.

The end goal is to find the missing person, but as the team's Chief Michael Little puts it, the canines are also looking for information.

"If we have a missing child that went missing from this specific house, if the dog will even start the trail, even if it only goes a block, we can get a direction of travel. That's information," says Little.

One thing, Little says, is certain.

"If the scent's there, our dogs will follow it."

It is possible this team could be called out to help police in the search for Lucas Hernandez.

But at the moment, police have suspended their outdoor search.

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