Authorities expanding search for missing 9-year-old girl Saturday

Photo courtesy of KOTA

PENNINGTON COUNTY, S.D. (KSFY) - The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is gathering resources from around the region to look for a 9-year-old girl missing since Sunday.

Serenity Dennard was last seen near the Black Hills Children’s Home in Rockerville.

This weekend, seven specialized scent and cadaver dogs and their K-9 handlers from South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming and Colorado will be looking for her.

The dog teams will set up in the Black Hills Children’s Home parking lot at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and hope to be searching the area from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

Given the snow and cold, authorities said the dogs will be shuttled back and forth from the parking lot all day to stay warm and rested.

Rushmore Helicopters will by flying with two spotters from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. They will expand the search from the air.

The helicopter will start the search at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday from a field turned into a landing pad at the Black Hills Children’s Home. They hope to fly roughly five hours each day depending on the weather and cloud cover.

About 35 to 40 people will be involved with the weekend searches on the ground, including the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Pennington County Search and Rescue, North Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Box Elder Police Department, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks and US Forest Service law enforcement.

Serenity is 4'9" tall, 90 pounds, with blue eyes and shoulder-length dark blonde hair. She was last seen wearing only a long-sleeved gray shirt with flowers, blue jeans and snow boots.

Anyone who sees Serenity or has contact with her should call 605-394-6135 immediately.