Search for Serenity Dennard ends, transitions to recovery

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) The search for Serenity Dennard is now a recovery effort, according to the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

Tuesday morning, teams are briefed before setting out on the third day of searching for 9-year-old Serenity Dennard, missing since Sunday.

The Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday night to transition its search for the missing 9-year-old from a rescue to a recovery.

In a release the Sheriff's Office says it's unlikely Dennard survived being outside since Sunday. The release says the Sheriff's Office has not ruled out the possibility Dennard found a warm, safe place or that someone picked her up. The investigation is still active. However, due to the extreme cold, if Dennard was outside, since Sunday it's unlikely she survived.

More than 200 personnel and six canines worked on the search for Serenity. The Sheriff's Office personnel will remain in the area, but recovery efforts will be scaled back.

Specialized canines from Eastern South Dakota and Colorado will join the recovery efforts. An arrival date for the specialty search teams isn't known yet.

Serenity was first reported missing on Sunday, February 3 when she left the Black Hills Children's Home on foot.