A missing 8-year-old girl was found safe near Pleasant View on Friday night after a search involving Montezuma County Sheriff’s deputies and the Dolores-based K9 Search and Rescue Team.
Deputies responded just before 9 p.m. to the intersection of County Roads 15 and Y after an off-duty Colorado State Patrol trooper reported a child missing in the area. They called in K9 Search and Rescue and the Cortez Police Department’s K9 officers to help with the search. The girl was found at her grandmother’s property about two hours after deputies were called in.
According to an incident report by patrol Sgt. Brad Ray, the search for the girl started about two hours before deputies were called, after she wandered away from a residence on County Road 15. Chuck Melvin, director of the K-9 Search and Rescue team, said Pleasant View firefighters started the search.
The searchers sent K-9 dogs toward the intersection of Roads 16 and Y after someone reported seeing a girl hiding in a ditch near the roads. Ray also said he contacted neighboring counties to see if a helicopter could help in the search, but none were available.
Melvin said his K9, a Dutch shepherd named Quiddity, had hardly begun searching for the child before she was found. According to Ray’s report, the girl was found after her grandmother checked her residence on County Road Y. Medics were called to the scene to check on the girl, and said she was in good health.
Melvin said this was his team’s sixth search-and-rescue mission in 2018. One of the others was canceled, and two were “standby” missions, he said.
“It’s been a slow year for us, which is a good thing,” he said.
The K9 Search and Rescue Team is a nonprofit based in Dolores that has assisted with rescue operations in 12 states since it was formed in 1984. Quiddity is one of the team’s newer recruits, having finished her training in 2014.