A Florida K-9 helped find a missing and endangered 11-year-old girl on Friday after locating the child in a park bathroom, according to law enforcement officials.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy Sarah Ernstes and K-9 Mary Lu responded to the 16000 block of Carlton Lake Drive at about 8 p.m. to search for the missing girl.
Ernstes and K-9 Mary Lu tracked the girl to a neighbor’s house, where they learned the residents had given her a ride to a nearby apartment complex in Wimauma, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said units moved to that location and, once there, K-9 Mary Lu alerted deputies to a locked bathroom door at a park in the area.
Deputies found the missing girl inside the locked bathroom and were able to successfully talk her into unlocking the door, the sheriff’s office said.
The girl was found safe and without injury.
“Our team HCSO K9 Unit has once again proven its invaluable role in our community,” Sheriff Chad Chronister in a news release. “With their exceptional skills, they successfully located and brought home a missing 11-year-old girl, reuniting her safely with her family. I couldn’t be prouder of our team’s commitment to service and determination to protect and serve.”