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Police K9 Tracks Missing, Endangered Man Through The Frozen Forest

Written by: Stephanie Maguire
Stephanie Maguire is a writer for She loves animals so much that she started her own pet-sitting business in 2017, and goes out of her way to point-out and pet every single dog she sees.Read more
| Published on January 31, 2022

When residents in northern Michigan witnessed a man walk into the woods but never reemerge, they grew concerned. Not only had the sun already set, but temperatures had also dropped to a frigid eleven degrees (-11°C).

Could he even survive the night? Bystanders recognized the urgent need to call the police, and once they did, the officers on duty grew even more concerned.


The local police believed they knew the identity of the lost hiker and that he may be cognitively impaired. So they spared no time in reaching out for help from the Roscommon County Sheriffs, who dispatched Deputy Dakota Darsow and his K9 partner, Ghost, to the scene. 

“The things that the dog can do would take five officers hours-upon-hours to do,” said Dakota Darsow, Ghost’s Handler.


Ghost, a gorgeous German Shepherd, has been rigorously trained in the skills of search and rescue. He is also well known for successfully recovering missing persons in the past. His professional police training, coupled with his heightened senses of hearing and smell, make him an excellent asset to a search and rescue team. Plus, this was a winter rescue mission. And as you can see in the photo below, Ghost absolutely loves snow!

Ghost in snow

Together, Ghost and his partner tracked the lost man through half a mile of dense, dark woods. But neither the bitter temperatures nor the thickness of the trees was going to slow down K9 Ghost. He was hot on the trail. Finally, the pair was able to find the lost man and lead him out of the pitch-black, bone-chilling forest. 

Ghost and Partner in snow

Luckily, bystanders noticed the man when they did and instantly identified the need to reach out to local authorities. Had no one seen, or if local police hesitated to reach out to the Roscommon County Sheriffs Office, the outcome might have been much more grim.

“Excellent job by the Gerrish Township Police in recognizing the urgency of the situation, and another great job by Ghost,” said the sheriff’s department.


When asked what had happened, the missing hiker explained that he was in town visiting from Pennsylvania. He said he had gone for a walk in the woods and simply gotten lost. Once found, he was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for exposure. 

K9 Ghost deserves tons of extra treats for being such a good boy! 


Featured Photo: Facebook

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