Search ramps up for missing 9-year-old in South Dakota


RAPID CITY (AP) – A western South Dakota sheriff says searchers so far have found no trace of a missing 9-year-old girl who ran away from staff at a residential youth home.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom said Monday afternoon that 65 people assisted by dogs are searching for Serenity Dennard. The Civil Air Patrol joined the search Monday morning.

Sheriff's officials say she left the Children's Home Society near Rockerville about 11 a.m. Sunday without a coat. The Rapid City Journal reports the organization's executive director, Bill Colson, says Serenity was playing in the gym inside the facility when she ran away from staff.

Investigators want to talk with a couple who last saw the girl near the children's home. The couple were cutting wood and driving a pickup. Deputies want to get a better idea of where Serenity was headed.