An approximately 20-hour search for a missing 76-year-old woman ended this week when a K9 officer found her disoriented in the woods.
“A big thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to help find 76-year-old Marie Ginette Saint Hubert,” said a Facebook post from North Port Police Department in Florida.
Law enforcement searched for Hubert by air and ground. Eventually Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office DFC Steven Sella and a K9 named Copper located her in “thick brush,” said the post.
Per the Orlando Sentinel, Hubert left her residence about 4:30 a.m. Monday before she was discovered by Sella and Copper Tuesday.
“Without these actions we may have had a much different story,” according to the department. “She is currently in good hands with medical personnel.”
This isn’t the first time that Sella and Copper have located a missing person.
According to a Facebook post from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and Scent Evidence K9, Sella and Copper – described as a “scent discriminate” bloodhound – found a missing endangered woman around one year ago. They followed a four-hour trail to locate her. Another example of a missing person recovered by the team was a man mentioned in a post from last October who was missing for eight hours.
“We recently added K9 Scent Kits to our services for individuals who are prone to wandering,” said a Feb. 2021 Facebook post. “After joining the program just 2 weeks earlier, a woman in Charlotte County wandered away and was in danger. Thanks to this Scent Kit, DFC. Sella was able to successfully track and rescue the woman with his K9 partner, Copper.”
Last month, the sheriff’s office announced that Sella and Cooper would appear in the 2023 Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. nationwide fundraising calendar. Each year, the calendar includes K9s “who are recipients of vests provided by the nonprofit organization” to honor fallen K9 officers.