Roanoke County Police K9 helps track down missing autistic child

Local News

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A Roanoke County Police K9 helped track down a nine-year-old non-verbal, autistic child who went missing off Mount Chestnut Road on Wednesday morning.

Remi, the three-year-old German Shepard who was first trained in explosives in 2018, was given the scent of the missing child from the child’s pillow. Within 12 minutes, Remi and her handler, Officer Steven Foutz, found the child deep in the woods through difficult elevation, thick trees, and small creeks.

Officer Foutz teamed up with Remi this April, and he says he is happy to have her as a partner. 

“What would’ve been, without a question, is it would’ve taken much longer. This would’ve been something that we might’ve had to put drones up in the air and organize search and rescue teams. It’s just a long process, and it gives the child an opportunity to get further away. He left in pajamas barefoot, so finding him quickly was important. And, thankfully, Remi allowed us to do that.”

Steven Foutz, Roanoke County Police

Remi has been training for seven weeks, and she still has five more weeks of training to go.

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