LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KELO) — A Facebook post triggering a massive response on social media to find missing South Dakota girl Serenity Dennard turned out to be a false alarm and Nevada authorities are calling it “misinformation.”
The post showed an older man with a girl at a Las Vegas Bass Pro Shop. The girl, as people online pointed out, looked similar to the now 10-year-old Dennard.
Her adopted mother, however, said she was told by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Serenity wasn’t found.
The person who posted the original photos on Facebook first noticed the old man and girl “making out” in a store. When he spotted the pair days later, he also reported a description of the man’s vehicle.
By Tuesday afternoon, another social media user posted a photo of a van matching the description and license plate at a condo complex in Las Vegas.
LVMPD authorities said detectives have located the pair and tell KELOLAND News that no crime was committed.
“Our preliminary investigation has determined that the juvenile is not the young girl reported missing from South Dakota as was suggested on social media,” LVMPD said in a statement. “We ask the public to disregard the false Facebook post which has delivered misinformation.”
It’s the latest twist more than 1,000 miles away and more than a year after Serenity was last seen at the Children’s Home Society of the Black Hills.
Two weeks ago, authorities told KELOLAND News there had been 224 leads in 36 states and four countries. 465 interviews were conducted and there have been six search warrants.
Earlier in the day, local authorities said they were aware of the post.
“Our criminal investigations division is looking into it and we thank everyone who has called, sent messages and texted the information to us,” the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook.
KELOLAND News has reached out to both the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and LVMP for details and will update this story as details come in.
This is a developing story.