Serenity was 9 years old when she disappeared from the Black Hills Children’s Home (BHCH), a treatment center for children with emotional and behavioral problems, in the 24100 block of Rockerville Road outside of Rapid City, South Dakota February 3, 2019. She weighed 96lbs and was 4’7. She was wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt with flowers, blue jeans, and black snow boots.
Since her disappearance, the Black Hills Children’s Home has been cited by state and federal regulators for waiting 80 minutes to call 911, for having radios that were on different channels and for lacking planning and training in runaway prevention.
“Deputy Jamin Hartland, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office lead detective on the case, said the investigation is the most extensive in Pennington County history, and so far has shown no evidence of an abduction or other form of foul play. Despite a search involving over 1,200 people and 4,500 miles of woods being searched, no trace of her has been found. The working theory for Law Enforcement is that Serenity ran into the woods, got lost and died from hypothermia”.
According to the Children’s Home Society Executive Director Michelle Lavallee, two people with direct physical charge of Serenity at the time of her disappearance were fired, but the director of the home and the on-call supervisor who advised employees on the scene to search longer on their own before calling 911 remain employed.
Serenity ran out of the gym and staff did not follow her though that staff member knew it was freezing outside. There were two other children inside that they could not leave them unattended. Another person coming onto the BHCH campus at 11:00 a.m. was the last person known to have seen Serenity. She was walking northbound on south Rockerville Road, near the cattle guard in front of the home. She said that Serenity was not wearing a coat in spite of the sub-zero temperatures.
Serenity had stayed in about a dozen foster homes in her early childhood. She was adopted child by Chad Dennard and KaSandra Dennard of Sturgis, South Dakota in 2014. Chad and KaSandra divorced shortly after that in 2015 and Darcie remarried and lives in Rapid Valley, South Dakota. In July 2018, they sent Serenity to live at the BHCH, which provides intensive inpatient therapy and schooling for children aged four to fourteen. They say that Serenity suffered trauma as a result of her early childhood experiences and that she would frequently run away and that years of outpatient therapy failed to help.
TODAY.THIS DAY, DECISIONS WERE MADE.
THIS DAY your voice was heard for the last time.
THIS DAY you would become a missing poster.
THIS DAY your future would go from any thing is possible, to will it be possible?
THIS DAY lines were drawn in the sand by selfish and incompetent individuals, more worried about saving face than saving you.
MISSING AS OF Feb 3rd, 2019. Still no answers. Serenity we love you. ♡NEVER FORGOTTEN
(Today written by Lynn DeSantis)
On February 4, 2019 at 7am the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office issued an Endangered Missing Advisory notifying public of Serenity’s disappearance. Over 200 people searched with dogs in freezing 5 degree weather, but no sign of Serenity was found.
On February 5, the Sheriff’s office issued a statement: “If Serenity was outside, it’s unlikely she survived. We have not ruled out the possibility that she found someplace warm to shelter or that someone picked her up. We still have an active investigation and will follow up on all leads.”
On Wednesday February 6, the Sheriff requested special dog teams from Iowa, Wyoming and Colorado. The dogs were trained to located deceased persons. These dogs find it hard to detect scent in frigid conditions.
Several searches of the area have turned up no signs of Serenity. The likelihood may be that she was picked up by a passing motorist. She was last seen walking northbound on S. Rockerville Road. Call 605.394.6115 with any info! and visit Lynn Seeks. #FindSerenity#BringSerenityHome#BlackHills
And click here for a recent maybe not so far-fetched theory of what could have happened to Serenity….The Warren and Seth Jeffs Theory of What happened to Serenity.
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