Lake County Sheriff’s K9 Unit Finds Unconscious Missing Suicidal Man Near Route 45 and Buffalo Grove Rd in Vernon Hills

Deputy John Forlenza and K9 Dax were dispatched to assist Vernon Hills Police Department in attempting to locate a missing 51-year-old man, who threatened to harm himself, before fleeing his friend’s home on foot. At approximately 5:30 a.m. Saturday August 10, 2019, Deputy Forlenza and K9 Dax responded to the area of Route 45 and Buffalo Grove Road, Vernon Hills. The two initiated an immediate track. K9 Dax tracked the scent of the man for approximately one-quarter mile, before locating the unconscious man in heavy brush next to the Indian Creek, just west of Buffalo Grove Road.

Paramedics were dispatched to the scene and the man was transported to a local hospital due to his unconscious condition, and to follow-up for a mental health evaluation.

“Deputy John Forlenza and his four-legged partner, Dax, have done it yet again! We are thrilled at the number of regional titles they bring home to Lake County. Only about one in 500 canines typically earn the Tracking Exceptional Certification and it’s been 12 years since the last time a Region 19 canine achieved this challenging certification. Those tracking skills were highlighted on their first shift back to work when they undoubtedly saved the life of a missing suicidal man, who they found unconscious. We are very proud of all of our Sheriff’s Canine Teams and believe they provide a tremendous service to the Lake County Community.”

— Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg

The successful tracking occurred on the K9 unit’s first shift back to work following competition in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region #19 Patrol Dog Trial in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Deputy Forlenza and K9 Dax brought several regional titles home to Lake County.

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