SMITHS GROVE, Ky. (WBKO) – Sunday evening, the body of a missing Smiths Grove man was recovered by a scent-tracking dog only 100 yards from his abandoned vehicle on Martinsville Road.
Shawn Faulkner had been gone for three days when the Warren County Sheriff’s Department was contacted about his disappearance. Officers at the scene conducted a hasty search at the scene, as is protocol, before calling Warren County Emergency Management.
Emergency Management has a network of local volunteer fire departments whose personnel are able to respond to these calls.
“And once they are in the area, we will put together a search grid using overhead maps and a direction of travel,” said Travis Puckett, deputy director of Warren County Emergency Management. “Emergency management also has a questionnaire that we will completely ask to get a lifestyle of the person, what their interests were, anything that will possibly turn up a clue as we’re searching the area.”
Puckett says that his staff was notified of the search on Wednesday, allowing them to put search and rescue boats in the water that evening. However, by Thursday evening, emergency personnel had given up the search for Faulkner.
This led his family to reach out to Jeramie Briscoe, who has trained with his dog, Anubis, to be a certified search and rescue team.
Briscoe received the call on Thursday, though he was unable to begin his search until Sunday due to a family medical emergency. He says that he and Anubis, along with a friend of Faulkner’s family, Kevin Fuqua, began the search around 3 p.m.
“The family gave me an article of clothing because he is an article scent dog. I can give him a specific article and he can track the specific scent,” Briscoe said. “I got access to the vehicle, let him run into the vehicle, and once he got into the vehicle he took out on a trail, and the trail he decided to take was a road.
Anubis, Briscoe, and Fuqua searched the immediate area, with Anubis repeatedly leading the team to a nearby barn. The team received permission from the property owners to search the surrounding area.
“And noticed there were crows and vultures around the area, which is a sign of certain things. So, we decided to investigate that area a little more. As we came out of the woodline, we caught a stronger whiff of an odor,” Briscoe said. “And he actually went up into the woods, and I walked the treeline and said, ‘I don’t smell it in this particular area,’ and as I turned around to come back, I said, ‘It’s strong right here,’ and he was in the woodline, and he looked where I was standing, and there was the individual.”
The team found Faulkner’s remains within four hours of beginning their search, roughly 100 yards from where his car had been abandoned.
Briscoe explained that typically, he and Anubis are only able to conduct a search under the direction of law enforcement. However, because officials had called off their search and there was no suspicion of a crime, they were able to self-deploy to assist the family.
This was not Anubis’s first act of service as a certified search and rescue dog. He also assisted in recovering the victims of the tornadoes in Bowling Green in 2021, and in a 2022 search for a missing woman.
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