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Police dog finds missing girl locked in park bathroom

A K-9 named Mary Lu alerted police to a locked park bathroom in Florida, where the missing 11-year-old was found.
K-9 Mary Lu locates a girl in a park bathroom
Posted at 2:07 PM, Jan 29, 2024

A police dog in Florida helped authorities locate a missing and endangered 11-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The HCSO K-9, named Mary Lu, and deputy Sarah Ernstes, were dispatched Friday around 8 p.m. to search for the missing girl, police said. They tracked her to a neighbor's home, where the residents said they had given the child a ride to a nearby apartment complex in Wimauma, Florida.

Once at that location, K-9 Mary Lu alerted deputies to a locked bathroom door at a park in the area. The girl was inside that bathroom, and deputies talked her into unlocking it. She was found to be safe and without injury, and was reunited with family.

"Our teamHCSO K9 Unit has once again proven its invaluable role in our community. 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," Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.

HCSO released video of the moment Mary Lu discovered the girl, and when officers were able to successfully get her out of the bathroom.