Natrona County Authorities Used Bloodhound to Find Missing Girl
A significant search effort proved successful Tuesday when Natrona County authorities located a girl who had left her home the night prior.
Brianna Weinert, 12, was found safe near the Rocky Mountain Gun Club on Cole Creek Road at 4:21 p.m. Tuesday. She had been on her own for quite some time, having left her house at about 9:30 p.m. Monday.
Sgt. Sean Ellis told reporters Wednesday that his office had a lot of assistance from residents and other government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, Casper Fire-EMS, Rising Wings Aviation and Jefferson County, Colorado.
It was a bloodhound out of Colorado that located Weinert. The dog was brought up from southern Wyoming, where it had been receiving training, and took a little over two hours to track the girl down.
Rising Wings Aviation provided aerial support for the search.
Ellis said the girl had been hiding out all night and was well-concealed when she was found. She was thirsty, but otherwise fine.
"She was a very scared little girl," Ellis added. "She made some large circles before she ultimately went to where she hid."
Ellis said there is no criminal component to the case or the reason the girl left her home.
"We are fully supportive of the family. We're trying to help them get everything that they need," Ellis explained.
The dog, provided with assistance from the FBI, was essential in finding Brianna. Ellis said that human searchers spent eight and a half hours in the area where the girl was finally found, but they weren't aware of her presence until the dog showed them the way.
Support from nearby landowners and citizens also played a large role in narrowing the search.
"We had a huge outpouring from the community out there," Ellis explained. Social media really helped them get the word out that the girl was missing, and landowners checked outbuildings on their property or used ATVs to comb the area.
Responding to questions on social media about why an Amber Alert was not issued, Ellis explained that such alerts have very specific criteria. In this case, the appropriate measure was to issue a missing child alert, which his office did.