Fred the bloodhound (left) sniffed his way to missing six-year-old Kinzleigh Reeder (top right) and her father Nicholas Reeder (bottom left) (Pictures: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office/Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office)
A police dog has been hailed a hero after he helped find a six-year-old girl missing for nearly a month after allegedly being abducted by her father. Fred the bloodhound sniffed his way to Kinzleigh Reeder and her father Nicholas Reeder on Friday, solving the mystery of her May 26 disappearance.
Officers ‘obtained an item belonging to the father and allowed Fred to smell it’, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office’s said in a statement.
‘He sniffed the door and door knob, then sat down indicating he found the father,’ the sheriff’s office stated.
Kinzleigh, who was inside a barricaded outbuilding in Dekalb County, Tennessee, ran up to Fred and hugged him the moment she saw him. She and her father were in the back of a shed behind blankets that hung from a clothesline.
The outbuilding was barricaded and the windows concealed behind metal, according to DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray.
‘There was no ventilation and air conditioning inside the small outbuilding. There was barely any food or water for the child,’ Ray said, according to People. ‘The outbuilding had a strong ammonia smell where the two had been urinating and defecating in a five gallon bucket.’
Nicholas was arrested and charged with one count of child abuse and neglect. He had warrants for failing to appear and custodial interference.
Kinzleigh had been taken out of her father’s custody in March when authorities found them camping under a bridge with rising waters. The father and daughter wound up there after Nicholas apparently drove his Nissan Rogue off road and the vehicle became lodged in a creek.
Nicholas’ bond was set at $175,000, according to WKRN. Meanwhile, Kinzleigh was released and taken in by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
Fred’s handler Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Tidwell rewarded him with chicken and pizza crusts.
‘I praised him and loved on him. I pulled the chicken reward out of my pocket,’ Tidwell stated. ‘He ate the chicken and wanted to meet other people as if to say, “Look what I’ve done.”‘
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