Runaways found after two-hour search near lake

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Police, firerighters, volunteers look for juveniles

By Linda Ireland

Four Kentucky state troopers, two LaRue County deputies, volunteers from four fire departments and several other volunteers spent a couple of hours searching for three young runaways Thursday night.

According to dispatch records, The Life Connection, a group home for teen boys, notified KSP that three children had left the Bud’s Lake Road facility outside Sonora. The juveniles were wearing shorts, short-sleeve shirts and no shoes, according to the report.

Due to weather conditions – the temperature was in the low 30s and dropping – KSP requested assistance from Magnolia, LaRue, Hodgenville and Buffalo fire departments. About 30 volunteers searched the surrounding fields and outbuildings for the trio and tried to stay warm with the hot coffee provided by the American Red Cross.

Dennis Wells, a Nelson County deputy and former LaRue County deputy, is Search and Rescue Coordinator for the area. He said there were “a lot of ATVs and mules (six-wheeled all-terrain vehicles) brought in by the fire departments to aid in the search.

“Everybody really came together,” he said.

The three boys were located just after 8 p.m. in a building on the property.

“They got in there, locked the doors and barricaded them,” Wells said. “We had to wait for the caretakers to get a key.”

Wells and LaRue County Deputy Russell McCoy were looking around the building after hearing a noise, Wells said.

“Then a window broke from inside,” he said. “They threw a stapler at it and it shattered the glass.”

“I’m not sure why (it was thrown),” he added.

Another officer who looked in the window saw one of the boys “duck down behind a desk.”

Wells said the first report that the students were not properly dressed for the weather was not completely correct. The three were wearing long pants and sweaters, but no shoes or socks.

“They couldn’t have went very far,” Wells said.

Representatives from TLC declined comment.