K-9 dog helps find missing hunter in Michigan

Posted at 5:52 AM, Dec 02, 2019

MARYSVILLE, Mich. — A hunter in Clyde Township has a K-9 officer to thank after losing his way while out hunting Saturday.

According to Marysville Police, the man called a friend to say he was lost deep in the woods in state game area after he went out hunting Saturday morning.

"He had been in the woods a long time from our understanding. I wasn't too hopeful on finding an actual track. But we knew we had some bad weather coming in, and it was going to get rather cool overnight, so we wanted to try and find him as quickly as we could," Officer Justin Reeves with Marysville Police said.

Around 9:45 p.m., Marysville Police, the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office and the Clyde Township Fire Department all started looking for the man.

Reeves and his K-9 partner, Heiko, were among the search party.

"We probably had about a dozen of us out there. We were trying to get a helicopter with thermal imaging abilities to make it out there, and they said they were going to work on it, but it was going to be maybe at least an hour," Reeves said.

That's when Heiko, a 4-year-old German Shepherd, showed off his skills.

"Heiko didn't want to relax; he didn't want to take a break, he didn't to play. He wanted to keep going," Reeves said.

In under an hour, Heiko led officers to the missing hunter, who wasn't hurt and didn't seem to know how far into the woods he'd wandered.

According to Reeves, the department gets calls about lost hunters a couple of times a year. The incident was the second time Heiko has helped locate a missing hunter.

Heiko is the first and only K-9 officer with Marysville Police.

"When these types of situations arise, it's nice to have another set of tools out there that can do things that we can't," Reeves said.

This story was originally published by Jenn Schanz on WXYZ in Detroit.