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NWI K9 Search and Recovery helps find 70-year-old man missing in Aurora
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NWI K9 Search and Recovery helps find 70-year-old man missing in Aurora

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NWI K9 Search and Recovery helps find 70-year-old man missing in Aurora

Founded two years ago, the NWI K9 Search and Recovery helps find missing people.

A local K9 search and recovery team helped police in Aurora safely locate a 70-year-old man who suffers from dementia who went missing Friday.

NWI K9 Search and Recovery, Inc. send out several volunteer teams to help police track down Wilfredo Nieves, who walked away from a Homewood Suites he had been staying at with his family. His family professed extreme concern for his health because of the heat.

Nieves was reported missing Friday evening, leading to large search and rescue efforts in Aurora.

"We mobilized quickly when Aurora police in Illinois called us around 3:30 a.m. on July 3," NWI K9 Search and Recovery Director Michelle Dvorscak said.

The nonprofit, founded two years ago to help law enforcement agencies searching for missing people, dispatched a few handler/K9 teams who helped out with the search for about four hours Friday.

"From what I understand they searched around ponds near the hotel where he went missing," Dvorscak said. "They also searched an industrial complex near there."

NWI K9 Search and Recovery, Inc. stepped up its presence on Saturday, sending out 10 people as the manhunt intensified. It sent out spotters and four specially trained search and rescue dogs, including K9 Helo and K9 Ziva.

They scoured the area for about six hours before Nieves finally turned up.

"He actually showed up in the hotel lobby alive and well," she said. "According to witnesses, he seemed to be in good health."

NWI K9 Search and Recovery, Inc. works with law enforcement agencies across Northwest Indiana and beyond to aid in searches for the missing, whether elderly people who just wandered off or long-missing people presumed to be dead.

"We'll look for any missing person so long as law enforcement gives its blessing," she said. "There's no point where the search is too old. So long the search is through law enforcement, we'll help."

The organization trains all types of dogs and their handlers to take part in searches. It's always looking for more volunteers and donations.

"It's not just German Shepherds," she said. "We train and have all types of dogs, including border collies, Australian shepherds and mixed breeds where we don't even know what they are. We don't care what kind of dog it is so long as they put in the work."

For more information, visit www.nwik9sar.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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