Serenity McKinney: National organization joins in search for missing Shelby County girl
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has launched a nationwide search effort for 4-year-old Serenity McKinney after spreading her story on social media.
Extended family told authorities they haven’t seen Serenity since Christmas 2020; they reported the Shelby County girl missing on Jan. 31.
“There was no contact, (Serenity’s mother) wouldn’t FaceTime with Serenity, she wouldn’t let me see her,” Aundria Wainscott, Serenity’s step-grandmother said. “That’s when we started thinking something’s really not right. We’re very scared, we’re very scared at this point.”
Shortly after an investigation was launched into Serenity’s whereabouts, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office issued warrants for her mother, Catherine McKinney, who goes by “Abby,” and her boyfriend, Dakota Hill.
On Sunday, the couple was arrested in Kansas, several hundred miles away from Shelby County, and both were charged with custodial interference. Police said neither are cooperating with the investigation.
There is still no sign of Serenity.
“Honestly, in my heart I was hoping that when we filed this report they would just go and she would be there, and they’d be like, ‘Oh, she’s OK,’” Wainscott said.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a video explaining Serenity’s story in hopes of spreading the word about her disappearance.
“It’s heartbreaking to think that we don’t know where she is,” Angeline Hartmann, director of communications for NCMEC said. “Not only do we not know where she is, we don’t even know when she disappeared. That’s why we’re asking people to help. Help fill in that timeline, because we know that that’s what’s going to help bring resolution to this case.”
Hartmann told WAVE News people often believe it’s too late to search for a missing child after they’ve been gone for some time, however, she said every case is different. She believes it’s possible Serenity could be in any part of the country.
Authorities believe she could be around the Shelby, Bullitt, or Jefferson County area.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is helping the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 502-633-4324, or Shelby County dispatch at 502-633-2323.
Those with information can also call the NCMEC hotline at 1-800-843-5678.
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