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It took hours for Hearne Police and assisting law enforcement to find a missing six-year-old last month, but they didn't have to look very far. She was found sleeping under some blankets in a linen closet, a place that was checked out more than once.
"The officer that searched the scene failed to find her. We had two officers from Bryan with K-9s, they also failed to find her. When we critiqued this even after it was over, we decided we could probably do things in a better way," says Hearne Police Chief Robert Parsley.
Hearne has had five missing children cases in the past year and because of this latest case, Hearne PD decided to adopt the FBI's Child Abduction Response Plan.
"What this will do is ensure anytime a child is missing, the scene is not contaminated, there will be a better initial search of the area conducted if the child is present in the home, we'll find them," says Chief Parsley.
This plan will also help Hearne's law enforcement be more efficient in their efforts to find a missing child.
"Immediate response is so important. Within the first hour to two hours, the fate of the a child could be determined," says College Station Police Chief Mike Clancey.
Chief Clancey sits on the board for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He says a solid response plan is a positive re-enforcement, but law enforcement can't do it alone. The community can play a key role in helping find a child safe and sound.
"This could be your child, this could be your neighbor’s child, so be aware, pay attention, look at what information has been given out and just be observant," says Chief Clancey.
Chief Parsley says this new plan will be put to the test with the next missing child case should this happen again.
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