Houston County Sheriff’s Office offers new way to track missing seniors

Local News

When an elderly person goes missing most times they are not able to go mobile, and now law enforcement has a new way for their bloodhounds to be able to track that person’s scent.

It’s called the Out of Harms Way Kit. The kit contains an evidence jar, a sealed gauze, a set of sterile gloves, an evidence seal, and label.

“Put the gloves on you, go ahead and open the jar, take the gauze out of the pack, you can rub in on their neck, we want to get moisture trace or perspiration,” Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said. “Once you get it, roll it, put it back in the jar, seal the jar, you’ll take the evidence seal, and put it on. This will tell us that it hasn’t been broken or tampered.”

Once officers arrive at the scene they’ll automatically send the bloodhounds straight to the house.

“When we get to the scene we’ll ask any members at the home where’s the kit?” Valenza said. “Once they give us the kit we’ll break the seal, give it to the k-9, and the dogs running, it has one scent and one scent only.”

Once the scent is collected, placed in the jar, and sealed, the bloodhounds will be able to use it as long as it hasn’t been opened.

“This thing will last indefinite as long as you get a good scent,” Valenza said. “Once you seal it, it’s going to stay in here and all this does is tells us it’s never been tampered with since the day it was collected, soon as our k-9 guys open it, the dog is running.”

If you have a family member that you want to use the kit for, you can contact the sheriff’s office and they will help get it set up.

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