The Disappearance Of Duke – Part 3

The search for Duke, the missing Boston Terrier, came to a conclusion after Rebecca Nairn and her family were alerted to clues from surveillance videos at Monterey businesses that pointed towards Snowshoe.

“So Saturday morning, we drove up to Snowshoe, to look around the properties and see if we could, by some miracle, find the van. So my brother- in-law and father-in-law drove through all the different accommodation areas and I went, and like, talked to all the people at check-in and in the different stores and restaurants, and just showed them pictures of Duke and the couple who had him, in hopes that someone would recognize them. So also, the sheriff from Monterey and his captain were also driving around – so we ran this to them and we were so appreciative, because they did not have to take their time on a Saturday morning to drive up to Snowshoe, and search for the van and our dog.

“And about an hour after we got there, my brother-in-law and father-in-law radioed us, and said that they found the vehicle and, there was evidence that a dog had been there. So we let security know – we just happened to be passing a security truck, actually, when he radioed us, so I jumped out of the car and I let the security truck know that we had found the van. So he went down to the camp where they were staying, and the sheriff and the captain met them there. So, we actually went back up to the security office at Snowshoe, because that’s where they preferred us wait while they investigated and waited for the couple to come back. The couple, I guess they were out skiing with their family, and then when they got back to the cabin, the sheriff and the security from Snowshoe were able to chat to them, and ask them if they had a dog there.  And they did – so they rescued Duke, and brought him back to us. And, we were ecstatic to know that he was back, because it was a wild goose chase for sure. But, miraculously, we found him at Snowshoe.”

Ms. Nairn and I did not discuss the specifics of the couple, nor what they said, due to the ongoing investigation of the incident. We did, however, discuss the substantial reward of $5,000 offered for his return.

“He’s our family, you know, he’s 10 years old. I mean, we’ve had him since he was a baby – he’s like a child to us. So we were devastated when he was missing. We could not imagine him living with another family. Our little girls were heartbroken – they kept telling us ‘Mom my heart hurts – we want to be happy again.’ And they were saying ‘I know we need to share, but we don’t want to share Duke with another family – can’t they get their own dog?’  So it was heartbreaking. And we were like, we’ve got to make a reward that will catch people’s eye, and yes, we did offer that reward.  I’m definitely in the process of doing thank-you cards to everyone who helped. But we’re definitely sending portions of the reward to people who played an integral part in our finding him. It wasn’t just like one person, you know, so it’s so hard to just say ‘this is the one person who helped the most.’ And yeah, your community – the support and outreach was amazing to us. Because we were in town on Friday, you know, passing out flyers and just telling everybody we could about the story. And everyone we talked to literally had already seen the story, and had already heard what was going on. So the way that social media spread the word, and just word- of-mouth, and you putting it on the radio for us and then sharing it on your Facebook page – we were just so grateful.”

The post about Duke’s disappearance on the Allegheny Mountain Radio Facebook page was shared an astounding 300 times, and reached over 13,500 people. So, it begs the question – was all this outreach and effort spurred by hopes of financial gain? And the answer is – no. The people of this community responded and acted because it’s who we are, and it’s what we do.

“When he went missing it made us really upset, and I was like, I don’t know how we’re going to come back here.  Like, this is our happy place, we love visiting  – how are we going to come back here knowing that our dog went missing here. And then, just your community support and outreach was incredible, and then we found him.

“So it’s definitely still our happy place, and it’s even more so now because we just couldn’t even believe how kind everybody was who lives there.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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