Sergeant William Kennedy and his Hampden County Sheriff’s Office bloodhound K-9 Scout were among more than 60 law enforcement officers and civilian search team members recently honored by Worcester County District Attorney for the role they played in finding a missing 5-year-old boy last year.
The officers received the DA’s Team Excellence and Merit (TEAM) Award for their efforts in the Feb. 20, 2023, search and rescue of Owen Goderre, who has autism and is non-verbal. Owen wandered off from his home in Oakham with the family dog around 9:30 a.m., and his older sister told their parents. His family quickly began looking for him in the area near their home, thick with woods in the Ware River Watershed area, and called 911. Members of the Rutland Regional Emergency Communications Center coordinated resources to respond, and after three hours, Owen and the family dog were found and brought home safely.
“On that February day, Owen’s family was filled with dread and fear when they realized he walked out the door. It is every parent’s nightmare,” District Attorney Early said. “The law enforcement officers, firefighters, first responders and civilian search team members who responded quickly to find Owen have families too. That day, they treated Owen like he was part of their family and they brought him home safe.”
Sergeant Kennedy and Scout, along with members of the Massachusetts State Police, Oakham Police Department, Oakham Fire Department, North Brookfield Police Department, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Rutland Fire Department, Rutland Police Department, Fitchburg Police Department, Rutland Regional Emergency Communications Center, Barre Police Department and the Central Massachusetts Search and Rescue Team, were recognized for their efforts in finding Owen.