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Hernando County Deputy Uses Drone to Locate Missing Special Needs Child in Northern Pasco County

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On 08-16-20 just before 1 p.m., Hernando County deputies were dispatched to the area of Squirrel Prairie Road (Hernando County) and McMullen Road (Pasco County) to assist the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in locating a Missing Endangered Juvenile.

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Upon arrival, Hernando County Deputy Josh Mitro met with Pasco County Deputy Topham.
Deputy Topham explained the Missing Juvenile was an 11-year-old with two prosthetic legs and multiple special needs.

Deputy Mitro, a Commercial UAS Pilot, immediately deployed his agency issued Unmanned Aerial System, commonly referred to as a drone, and began searching for the juvenile.

Pasco County deputies and K-9 teams continued to search by ground.

A resident notified Pasco deputies they had seen the juvenile on their property, sometime “earlier.”

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Deputy Mitro flew to the area where the juvenile was last seen and located the juvenile nearby, sitting behind a small garage/shed type building. Deputy Mitro notified Pasco deputies of the juvenile’s location and continued to hover until he observed the Pasco deputies make contact with the juvenile.

It should be noted that from the time the UAS was launched until the juvenile was located was approximately 19 minutes.

We are extremely pleased with the outcome and thankful to have been able to assist our fellow law enforcement officers at the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.

Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein
Leslie Stein has over 35 years experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist working with neurologically impaired adults. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of South Florida in Speech Pathology. Leslie specializes in caring for individuals who have been effected by multiple medical conditions both acute and degenerative. Populations she cares for includes, but is not limited to, patients suffering from the symptoms of Stroke, Parkinsons, Alzheimers/Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS which can adversely affect communication, cognition and swallow. Many years of experience has provided her with extensive knowledge and skills when developing individualized therapeutic techniques to help these patients return to their prior level of functioning or improving the quality of their life.
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