Family of Serenity Dennard still hopeful of her return
STURGIS, S.D. — It has been nearly a year since then 9-year-old Serenity Dennard went missing, and there are still so many unanswered questions. The people of Western South Dakota refuse to quit, and her family is holding onto hope that Serenity will return home.
February 3 2019, the Dennards received the news that no parent wants to hear — their sweet 9-year-old girl was missing after allegedly straying from the Black Hills Children’s Home Society, where she was receiving in-patient treatment.
“Me and my other three kids we visited her the day before,” said Chad Dennard, Serenity’s father. “They played with building blocks and it was really just a normal visit.”
For a child, Serenity had been through a lot, living in foster care for at least four years of her life and later being adopted by the Dennards. Her parents and siblings describe her as fairly happy and normal child that just needed a little extra help at times.
“Putting her in the children’s home was not easy and it wasn’t just a Chad and I type thing, it was a lot of recommendations,” said Kasandra Dennard, Serenity’s stepmother.
Serenity has siblings waiting for her return and missing the moments they had and still cherish.
“I miss her joyful little smile and when she plays with me,” said her brother Mikayo.
“We liked playing tag outside or hide and seek or a board game,” said her sister Keeliea.
As of now Serenity’s siblings find different and creative ways to feel close to her, drawing for or writing to her.
For months both professional crews and crews of volunteers have been searching for Serenity. There have also been fundraisers to aid in the search, but after almost an entire year there are still no solid answers, leaving her loved ones with many unanswered questions.
“Getting up in the mornings, walking past her room, you know it’s hard,” said Chad.
“The biggest thing that I miss would be hearing all of my kids play together and laugh,” said Kasandra.
For now, the search continues and her family refuses to give up hope, with messages they hope will reach Serenity.
“Serenity I love you, come home to us we miss you.”
“We will never stop looking, we will never stop fighting. We want you home, we hope that you’re safe, that you’re okay right now. I just want you to know that you’re loved and you’re cherished and we just want you home.”
“If you could come home, stay here and not leave, and try your hardest not to run away because we miss you.”
“I love you. We have fought a lot but if we could go back we would change that and I would like her to come back.”