The search for 10-year-old Kodie Dutcher from Baraboo, Wisconsin, came to an end on Tuesday morning after an Amber Alert was issued for the girl. Hours after she was reported missing, Baraboo police discovered her body and suspect that she may have ended her own life.
On Monday, police sent on a missing child alert on Monday. According to the Baraboo Police Department’s Facebook page, Kodie was last seen “in the 1100 block of 12th Street around 4 PM.”
She was described as being 4’8,” weighing 110 pounds, and had blonde hair.
“She was last seen wearing blue jean overalls,” the statement read. After an initial search of Kodie’s home on Monday, it was found she was threatening to harm herself.
And while it is not clear what those indicators were, according to WSAW, the girl had moved to Wisconsin in April and had only been in school for two weeks before stay-at-home orders forced her classes to get canceled. Police additionally checked her Snapchat, but nothing odd was discovered.
Kodie’s mom informed police “Kodie was happy here,” mentioning how her daughter was even looking forward to an upcoming camping trip.
And after the girl went missing, her family was obviously worried. “It doesn’t feel real,” her aunt, Mackenzie Bielicki, told the news station after her disappearance. “I just kind of thought like she’d be hiding somewhere and went to a friend’s house and we’d find her. We’ve gotta find her.”
Police officers, the Baraboo Fire Department, and the Wisconsin Dells K-9 force all searched for Kodie, first looking around her apartment complex. They then were accompanied by drones from the Sauck County Sheriff’s Office and Middleton Fire Department in an attempt to find her.
That very same day, police issued an Amber Alert for the girl, according to Channel 3000. According to police, they believed Kodie took an unknown number of pills and was possibly suicidal. They also noted that she left her cell phone and shoes behind when she left her home.
Volunteers also joined in on the search for Kodie and her body was later discovered at about 11 that morning in a field near 11th Street and Taft Avenue. Police have yet to confirm how Kodie died are conducting an investigation into what happened.
“We want to thank every agency and all the volunteers that responded or offered assistance with the situation,” Lt. Ryan Labroscian told Channel 3000 in a separate report. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Kodie’s family in this extremely difficult time.”
The lieutenant also said he hopes Kodie’s story will encourage others to take care of their mental health.
The Baraboo Police Department then released a second statement Wednesday from Chief of Police Mark Schauf, who shared how “the Baraboo community experienced a tragedy Monday that will live with us all for a long time.”
“I am seldom shy with words, but today I cannot express my sadness,” he went on before adding a message regarding mental health.
“Every person who called or reached out to us had a simple question for us, ‘What do you need, or what can I do?’ Our needs today are simple,” he shared. “Care for each other. Maybe we can bring the love shown for a little girl few of us knew to the greater community and be better today with hopes of a better tomorrow. Kodie deserves that of us.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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