'she gave him a big hug.' RCSO K9 helps find missing, endangered 6-year-old girl

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Posted at 3:41 PM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 16:41:25-04

DEKALB COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A missing 6-year-old girl was rescued Friday in DeKalb County thanks to the help of a drone and Bloodhound named Fred.

The two shared a special moment after law enforcement found her and her father who was wanted on a child abuse charge.

“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug,” K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell said in a press release.

Kinzleigh was reportedly abducted by her father, Nicholas Reeder, on May 26, according to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office had been searching for them since their disappearance. They believed Reeder had taken the girl to a campsite in the Pea Ridge community.

The Rutherford County Fire & Rescue team launched its drone and learned the father and daughter were likely behind a home in the area.

That's when Fred went into action. Deputy Tidwell used an item belonging to the father to allow Fred to get his scent. Once at the home, Fred followed a path from the home to a burn pile, a truck and an outbuilding. He sniffed the door and door knob, then sat down indicating he found the father.

Reeder was taken into custody and Kinzleigh was safely turned over to DeKalb County deputies.

Fred is usually rewarded for his good work, but this time around he even received an extra treat of 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.’”