The dedicated men and women of Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office are proud to announce that their very own, Deputy Sheriff Derek Morrell, and his canine partner, K9 Deputy Jara, will be the featured guests during an upcoming heroes segment on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil television talk show.
Morrell and Jara have received international publicity, including numerous interviews and a Heroic Dog Award from PETA, for their efforts in successfully locating and rescuing a missing child in Rock Springs last summer.
On a hot late afternoon in July of 2019, the child’s mother reported to police that her four-year-old boy wandered out of the yard while playing with their dogs, that she was looking but could not find him, and that he had been missing for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. After providing a physical description, she further advised that her son suffered some developmental delays that inhibited his ability to speak.
Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Rock Springs Police Department immediately began canvassing the surrounding neighborhood in vehicles and on foot in search of the missing boy.
Minutes later, Morrell and Jara arrived on the scene and deployed from the residence in an effort to track the child by scent. Using an article of the boy’s clothing, Jara picked up a scent almost immediately. After persistently and forcefully dragging her human partner down an alleyway, blocks away from the child’s home, Jara adamantly alerted to a locked vehicle parked in the alleyway.
While attempting to secure Jara on her leash, Morrell peered inside the vehicle’s window and found the missing child curled up on the driver’s floorboard. With the help of RSPD Officer Jennifer Chick, they quickly located the vehicle’s owner, opened the vehicle and rescued the boy, who was crying hysterically and sweating profusely but otherwise appeared unharmed. After a precautionary evaluation by emergency medical personnel on the scene, the child was reunited with his mother. It was later determined that the boy found the vehicle unlocked and accidentally locked himself in the car after climbing inside.
Click here for Dr. Phil behind the scenes with Derek and Jara!