Mock wilderness search tests IMPD rescue crews

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Police and firefighters from in and around Marion County received potentially life-saving training Saturday.

They took part in a mock wilderness search at Eagle's Crest Nature Preserve to coordinate their response to a missing persons case. The scenario centered around a child who disappeared from her class during a visit to the center.

The goal: train crews on search techniques for wooded areas - a setting that comes with a long list of challenges.

"We do a lot of urban searches. We wanted to utilize, or test, these assets in this type of a setting - in a rural setting, a difficult terrain - with K9, different scents, different techniques and how we apply our assets in this kind of a setting," explained Sgt. Paul Scott with IMPD's Missing Persons Unit. "It was to test us and to test how we we work together."

Sgt. Scott says Saturday's s exercise was very successful. All of the search teams found the missing child separately, as well as her suspected abductor.