6-Year-Old Girl in Tennessee Recovered by Police Bloodhound After Missing for One Month

A 6-year-old girl in Tennessee was recovered by a police bloodhound after she was missing for nearly a month.

According to a Facebook post from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, the bloodhound named Fred discovered the girl on Friday in Tennessee's DeKalb County.

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The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department had been searching for the girl since she was reported missing on May 26. The department identified the 6-year-old girl as Kinzleigh Reeder and said in a statement they have contacted numerous law enforcement agencies in the area to help with the search -- including the bloodhound Fred.

The girl and her father, Nicholas Reeder, were reportedly located by the bloodhound in an "outbuilding" located on Reeder's property.

"Officers did have to make forcible entry where they came in contact with Nicholas and Kinzleigh Reeder. The door to the outbuilding was barricaded and the windows had been covered up with metal," the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department said in a press release. "There was no ventilation and air conditioning inside the small outbuilding. There was barely any food or water for the child. The outbuilding had a strong ammonia smell where the two had been urinating and defecating in a five gallon bucket."

The press release said that the 6-year-old girl has been missing since May 26, and she was removed from her father's custody "after they were found camped out under a bridge in rising creek water on the cold rainy night of March 18 at Dry Creek and Pea Ridge Road."

According to the Facebook post from the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, after officers believed Reeder and her father were staying in a building on their property, they gave Fred an item belonging to the father, allowing him to smell it.

"They traveled to the home and released Fred who followed a footpath from the home to a burn pile, a truck and an outbuilding. He sniffed the door and doorknob, then sat down indicating he found the father," the Facebook post said.

Fred's handler, K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell, said in the post that Fred licked the girl after finding her in the outbuilding "and she gave him a big hug."

Tidwell also said that in addition to Fred's usual reward of chicken, he was also given a piece of pizza crust after discovering the girl.

"I pulled the chicken reward out of my pocket. He ate the chicken and wanted to meet other people as if to say, 'Look what I've done'," Tidwell said.

After the girl was discovered, her father was arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and charged with child abuse and neglect, failure to appear, and custodial interference. The girl was released to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.

Police Bloodhound
The Washington, DC Police Department's first bloodhound, Sam, a dog trained to track human scent, appears during a press conference introducing him at Police Headquarters in Washington, DC on August 29, 2013. Saul Loeb/Getty