11 a.m. Saturday October 30, Marcy, NY: A group of search and rescue dog handlers and there canine companions named Eagle Valley Search Dogs found human remains matching the description of a woman missing since March of 2009. Co-Owner of The Family Foundation School, who is also the president of the Eagle Valley team, brought along dog training students to help.
Only after an hour after the search was underway did Vice President of the team Katie Danzig and her blue tick hound find the remains. The team had planned a two day search and, if necessary, to return to the scene this coming spring to continue the search.
The remains are thought to be that of Laura Pickard of Whitesboro, NY. Pickard went missing March of last year after being seen heading towards the Durham Public Library. Pickard had a history of struggling with psychosis and clinical depression; it is thought that she intentionally overdosed before lying down in the wooded area where her remains were found. The Whitesboro Police Department says that they are not positive that the remains belong to Pickard and have sent them to the lab to be confirmed. According to uticaod.com Pickard’s sister, Jennifer Ferrusi, was quoted saying, ““They’re confident that it is Laura. Of course, we have to get scientific proof by matching the DNA … but everything is consistent that it is her.”
Ferrusi said that she is saddened by the discovery, but she takes comfort in having the closure. She is very thankful for Eagle Valley and the Whitesboro Police Department for the search and discovery.
“It was neat to be a part of the search,” said dog training intern Jimmy G. “I think of it as a once in a lifetime experience to be able to help a family gain closure after such a tragedy.” Jimmy, along with Nash B, was brought along to assist Rita with the search.