Parents: Missing South Dakota girl had history of escapes

Photo courtesy of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - The parents of a 9-year-old girl missing from a South Dakota residential youth home for nearly two months say their daughter has a history of running away.

Chad and Kasandra Dennard told the Rapid City Journal that their daughter, Serenity Dennard, had planned escapes by packing a suitcase and leaving in the middle of the night. The family's home in Sturgis, South Dakota, has an alarm to help prevent that from happening.

Serenity has been missing since she ran away from Black Hill's Children's Home in frigid weather on Feb. 3. Authorities say she was not dressed for the weather and that it's unlikely she survived if she was outside.

Chad Dennard tells the newspaper he's "100 percent" certain that Serenity planned an escape from Children's Home by having another child run away first.

Authorities say finding Serenity remains a top priority.

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