BOX ELDER, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A social media dispute over how best to locate a little girl missing in the Black Hills has ended with a state senator getting slapped with a no trespass notification from the Box Elder police.
Sen. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City, has a high profile online in her efforts to help find Serenety Dennard, including this YouTube channel.
Patricia Kassner took issue with Sen. Lynne DiSanto's high profile efforts to find Serenity Dennard, the little girl who walked away from the Black Hills Children's Home in February. DiSanto, R- Rapid City, launched social media pages devoted to the search and has freely expressed her views.
Kassner responded to DiSanto online.
"I actually told her that to use a situation, a horrible situation like this, for your own benefit to garner attention to yourself was disgraceful," Kassner said. "And I guess I must have struck a nerve."
DiSanto wrote back. "I see you live close to me. Awesome!!! I'll be stopping by to say Hi so we can talk face to face."
Kassner said she was rattled by the post.
"I called the police department and said, 'you know this seems to me like a threat,'" she said.
Box Elder Police issued a no trespassing notification to DiSanto. Police Lt. Chris Misselt told her that "if she went to (Kassner's residence) for any reason at any time she would be arrested," according to police reports.
"Any property owner can request that a trespass notification be issued to somebody that is either on their property who is not behaving as they wish or who they don't want to come to their property," Misselt explained.
Kassner said she didn't want this story to be about her but rather, about Serenity.
"I think as a community we need to come together and support law enforcement and support the sheriff's department and support that little girl's family 100 percent without spinning dramatic conspiracy theories and bending things to get attention," she said.
DiSanto declined to talk to us and instead referred a reporter to her Facebook page where she posted a statement saying that "fake news has decided to make me look bad" in her work trying to find Serenity.