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Boy's family opens up Vallecito ice
3/1/2013 By: Melanie B. Mazur
Wendy Kessinger and Denise Hess show their dogs to third graders at Bayfield Elementary during a presentation about personal safety on Tuesday.
After a week-long search on the Vallecito ice and around the lake and surrounding community, two cadavar dogs have possibly identified human remains in the water beneath the ice.
Wendy Kessinger of Special Operations Canine Detection of New Mexico conducted the searches with two dogs, Jetta and Saber, that are trained to identify bones and human remains. Another bloodhound, Sadie, is trained to find live people and also was involved in the search.
Kessinger was joined by Mike Hall, the fiancée of Elaine Redwine, and other volunteers as she searched the area. Denise Hess of the Hope for Dylan Redwine Foundation said the family is still holding out hope that Dylan is alive.
The family and foundation are regrouping and deciding what to do with the information, she added. Not wanting to wait for the ice to thaw this spring, they are investigating the cost and logistics of bringing specially-trained divers to search the reservoir waters. Other cadaver dogs scented something in the reservoir in November, but a sonar search of part of the lake’s bottom did not reveal anything.
On Tuesday, Kessenger brought her dogs to Bayfield Elementary for a safety presentation, “Sadie Says,” to third-grade classes. Kessinger explained that when a human walks by, he sheds skin flakes. Bloodhounds use their floppy ears to push the scent into the wrinkles in their face to keep the scent.
She then demonstrated Sadie’s ability by having two students drop an item or two from the classroom and hide in a classroom next door.
After Sadie sniffed at a few lunch boxes, she found the children in a few minutes.
Kessenger advised the children about personal space, and said to never go with an adult who asks for help. Adults don’t need help from a child to find a lost puppy, she said.
“If you don’t know them, you don’t go,” she said, even if it is someone children might be acquainted with.
If a child is taken, she told them all to to resist.
“You run, you kick, you scream, you bite, you yell,” she told the children. “You do everything possible to get away, and you tell a safe adult.”
In Friday's edition: Dr. Phil contacts Elaine and Cory Redwine about a followup piece on Dylan.