Missing Florida woman found by police dog, thanks to a jar of her scent

Florida police credit scent preservation kit in locating missing woman. Citrus County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

A Florida woman who went missing was found by a police dog in about five minutes, after police found a jar that contained a sample of her scent.

The elderly woman, who was not identified by Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, had used a scent preservation kit to capture her smell, police said in a Facebook post.

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The woman, who has dementia, was returned to her home within two hours of going missing.

Police posted a photo of her scent kit, which was marked with the date Jan. 19, 2015. According to BBC News, the kits can hold scent for up to seven years. 

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Scent preservation kits are generally provided to individuals with mental illnesses that make them vulnerable to getting lost, according Scent Evidence K9, the company that creates the product.

The kits contain a jar, lid, pad and label. The person whose scent is being captured must rub the pad on their underarms about three times, then promptly place it in the jar and close the lid. The jar should be labelled with the name and date and not opened again, the company instructs.

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The company say its kits are used across the United States and Canada and overseas in Germany and Sweden. The kits are available online starting at US$18.99.

According to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, while clothing or a pillow case have been used to help dogs detect the scent of a missing person, a scent kit is less likely to be contaminated with other smells.


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