May 18, 2024

Ariane, 6, from Elm near Bremerfelde, is still missing. But Ariane’s parents want certainty. A civilian dog search team will help uncover what happened.

Six-year-old Ariane has been missing in Lower Saxony since April 22, and appears to have been swallowed up by the earth. Despite a week of intensive searches by up to 1,200 emergency services and volunteers, police have so far been unable to report any success. Active search has been stopped. But now a privately commissioned K9 search team will try its luck.

According to the Frankfurter Ranschau newspaper, the boy’s family has asked the K9 Professional Missing Person Search eV team to assist him. This is an organization that trains sniffer dogs and independently works on missing person cases. “When families are told they can’t do anything or can no longer do it, we take action,” says Alexandra Grunow, Head of Operations at He K9 Pro.

K9 teams and their sniffer dogs track every trail for weeks, as opposed to police dog units that typically search for only a few days. They are in close contact with families and police every day and are constantly following up on new leads.

Thirteen dogs can find Ariane, including Labrador-bloodhound mix Knut and bloodhounds Willy and Tao. These experienced search dogs are currently working tirelessly to sniff out clues to the boy’s whereabouts.

Private teams have also been searching for months.

Despite the statement that no meaningful traces have been found so far, Grunow explains, “We can’t say that the traces don’t lead anywhere.” All the dogs have had important work to do in the past and have “found footprints that they can work on.”

However, the conditions are strict. The Oste River, where the suspect Ariane is located, is a tidal river whose water level changes, giving off a different odor from its normal flow. This, combined with the dense reeds, makes it even more difficult for dogs to search.

The search team is working on this mission with great concentration. “We don’t give up on checking clues. We also have to be realistic and take into account that Ariane fell in the east. We are not very optimistic,” Grunow said.

There have been success stories in the past.

The K9 search team is sensitive to the feelings of the family and tries not to give them false hope. As a result, the team does not share all new clues and leads with the family. “We’re not there to tell the family everything. That’s a police matter,” Gourneau explains.

Sometimes persistence has already led to a goal. A K9 team was recently able to locate a missing 16-year-old boy after he had been missing for more than six months.

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