INDIANAPOLIS - A 4-year-old Hancock County boy was found safe over the weekend thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers and a bloodhound named Grace.
Police said the boy wandered away from a home near New Palestine Saturday around 7:30 p.m. Volunteers and police from multiple agencies, including two police helicopters, looked for the boy in a cornfield for four hours before he was finally found safely.
Part of that search effort was Grace, a 7-year-old bloodhound, who tracked the scent of the missing toddler.
"He got very, very far," IMPD Detective Sgt. William Carter said. "You don't know what that child can be exposed to: predators, the elements, water, obviously."
Carter trains Grace 16 hours every month to locate missing children and elderly persons.
On Jan. 6, 2013, Grace was called upon to help find an abducted 5-month-old.
"The mom had a sock that she had in the bottom of a diaper bag, and that's what we used as a scent article," Carter said. "[Grace] tracked it to the building where the individual was inside with the baby."
Unfortunately, Carter said, not all trails have had happy endings.
Carter said it was the drowning of a 7-year-old in 2005 that sent him looking for a better way to find missing people.
"We watched as they pulled that child out of the water," Carter said. "At the time, I was thinking there's got to be something more, some tool we can use."
Carter said Grace is that tool. She helps guide authorities to the missing and lost when minutes count.
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