The Unseen Trace

Texas Equusearch, a volunteer search-and-rescue organization, meticulously combed a rural area of Orchard, Texas, in search of a missing person. After several fruitless days and nights, the group turned its attention toward the Brazos River, calling in two human remains detection dog teams for assistance.

Renee Utley, a K9 officer with the Port of Beaumont Police Department and a volunteer search manager for Texas Equusearch, recalls that within an hour on the river, Labrador Retriever Mollie found the odor. But where was the body? Stiff winds carried the scent as it bubbled to the surface and swept it away from the source.

Soon, the other dogs began to alert. As the dogs signals narrowed the location of the remains, Utley used side-scan sonar from her boat, hoping to get a more precise idea of the bodys location before divers went in.

I saw what I thought was the body on the sonar, had my boat operator turn around for another pass, and the body surfaced, says Utley.

Pick up this month’s issue of Dog Fancy for the full story.

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Dogs · Lifestyle