A K-9 successfully found a 6-year-old Tennessee girl who had been abducted for close to a month.
Police say the Rutherford County Sheriff’s bloodhound, Fred, discovered Kinzleigh Reeder on last Friday, June 25. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office had been searching for Kinzleigh after her father, Nicholas Reeder, allegedly abducted her on May 26.
Deputies believed the father and daughter were camping in the Pea Ridge community in DeKalb County.
K-9 Deputy Richard Tidwell obtained an item belonging to the father and allowed the dog to smell it. They then released Fred near the home where deputies believed the two were hiding. They say the dog led them to a door that was reinforced from the inside.
“We made entry into the building and discovered the suspect and child in the back of the shed behind blankets that were hanging from a makeshift clothesline,” said Sgt. James Holloway with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
“Officers did have to make forcible entry where they came in contact with Nicholas and Kinzleigh Reeder,” a statement read. “The door to the outbuilding was barricaded and the windows had been covered up with metal. 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.”
Investigators took Nicholas into custody and safely turned over Kinzleigh to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office – but not before Kinzleigh welcomed Fred into her arms.
“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug,” said Tidwell. Tidwell noted how Fred gets rewarded with chicken when he makes a successful find. But this time, he received delicious pizza crusts.
“I praised him and loved on him,” Tidwell said. “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.’”
According to a press release, Nicholas was booked into the DeKalb County jail on a charge of child abuse and neglect. He also had warrants for failure to appear and custodial interference. His bond is set at $175,000.
Kinzleigh was released to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
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