Lette Birn has been active in K9 SAR since 1989.
In the summer of 1989, while volunteering at a local wilderness search with her endurance horse, she came across a K9 team, went home, ordered a bloodhound puppy, joined a local SAR team and discovered a new passion: K9 SAR.
Countless nationwide training seminars, disaster deployments and wilderness searches later, Lette is currently working two black labs, Piper and Pinja.
Piper is certified with NAPWDA and Mountain Canine Corps in Human Remains Detection.
Lette and Piper joined Colorado Forensic Canines in 2016.
From 1993-2016 Lette was a member of the New Mexico Task Force One FEMA team as a K9 handler. Deployed to the Pentagon for 9/11, and to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita with NM-TF1.
Lette has participated in hundreds of wilderness searches with MCC over the years, both live find and HR.
Being self-employed - and having an extremely supportive husband - has allowed Lette to embrace the K9 SAR lifestyle with lots of hours spent in the mountains, on disaster sites or at trainings throughout the country.
Lette Birn was born and raised in Denmark, attended college and taught school in Germany after marrying Joachim, her German husband. In 1980 they moved to Los Alamos, NM with their twin sons – “for one year”. 35+ years later they are still in love with outdoor life in New Mexico.
Avid skiers, the entire family was active as volunteer patrollers with the National Ski Patrol for 15-some years. Lette taught and organized the Outdoor Emergency Care course for Pajarito Ski Patrol for several years.
KRIS BROCK- Board Member
Kris Brock is a native of Wyoming. She started working with search dogs in November 2002. She is a certified search dog handler, living with three Yellow Labs. Tate was born in July, 2003. He was certified in trailing, wilderness/air scent, cadaver, evidence and water search disciplines. Tate is now fully retired. Mitchell was born in September, 2011 and is certified in cadaver, wilderness/air scent and water. Charlie was born in June, 2013 and is a certified cadaver dog.
Kris was born and raised in Cody, Wyoming and she spends considerable time in the mountains, just outside Yellowstone National Park. She is married and has two daughters and four grandchildren. Kris and her family enjoy camping and competing in team roping with their horses. Kris is also trained in GPS, 4-wheeling, snowmobile, basic Man-Tracking, ICS, Wilderness First Aid and CPR.
In addition to being a member of High Country Search Dogs, Kris is also a member of the Park County Search and Rescue Team in Wyoming.
Brock’s new puppy extraordinaire, in training, Colt
Dayna began working with search dogs in the fall of 2012 after joining PAWS Search and Rescue Dogs in Fairbanks, AK. Here she worked intensively in trailing and was introduced to cadaver and air scent training. She then moved to Albuquerque and joining Sandia Search Dogs in February, 2014. She is a New Mexico native and began a passion for training while raising and training Quarter Horse colts while growing up on a NM cattle ranch. She worked for 12 years pursuing a career as a field biologist and gained a deeper understanding of wilderness and back country navigation and GPS work. Dayna has a SAR TECH II field certification through NASAR and NM SAR Field Certified. Dayna has held a variety of board positions for Sandia Search dogs including president, vice president/training officer and secretary.
Currently Dayna is handling November for CFC. November, a GSD/Border Collie cross was born Feb. 15 2012. November is dual certified for Sandia Search Dogs in Wilderness Area Live Find (2015-present) and Cadaver (2016-Present). She certified with NAPWDA in cadaver and obedience in 2017.
Dayna and her second dog, a Labrador Retriever named Gus, certified in disaster live find for NM Task Force One FEMA team in 2015. Gus also certified in wilderness area live find for Sandia Search Dogs (2016-present) with Dayna & Amanda Kreider (2017) as dual handlers.
BONNIE GUZMAN - Board Member
Bonnie's SAR career started in 2007 when she opted to train Dobermans specifically for human remains detection, with an emphasis on historic human remains. After a career as a Registered Nurse since 1971, Bonnie wanted to change course, career wise. She now serves as a Deputy Coroner with the Park County Coroner's office, Park County, CO.
Her husband is a retired Denver Police Department officer. She is a member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of the Rocky Mountain Area, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America and the United Doberman Club.
Swift Run’s Warrior
Doberman Pinscher (DOB 3/16/2008)
Cadaver and Obedience, NAPWDA
Certified in 2018,2017, 2016,2015, 2014, 2013 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.
K9 Porter Temperament, Obedience and Working Titles
American Working Dog Federation: BH (Begleithundepruefung)
American Kennel Club: Canine Good Citizen
Doberman Pinscher Club of America: Working Aptitude Certificate
American Kennel Club: Rally Advanced
Schutzhund: Scent Article Discrimination 1 (Stoberprufung 1)
K9 Tavi (Octavia)
Swift Run’s Hell Hath No Fury
Doberman Pinscher (DOB 7/16/2012)
Cadaver and Obedience, NAPWDA.
2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
K9 Titles and Temperament:
United Doberman Club's Service Dog of the Year, 2017.
Linda has had hunting dogs all her life. As an adult, also known by some as “the crazy lady with the pointers”, for 35 years, bird dogs were her passion, and she successfully trained eleven dogs over those years. In 2015, she found her K9 partner, Banner, and took up Search and Rescue with a local Los Alamos, NM team, Mountain Canine Corps. Banner is certified with MCC for wilderness airscent as well as HRD. In June 2018, Linda and Banner also passed their first NAPWDA HR certification. Linda and Banner have attended multiple HRD training seminars in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. They have participated in a large number of wilderness searches in a variety of conditions.
Rae has been practicing law as a criminal defense attorney for 34 years and maintains an active practice in Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado. She lives with her husband Jamie in Southern Colorado. They have seven grandchildren all under the age of six!
Rae began her Search and Rescue career in 2006 as a K9 handler with La Plata County Search and Rescue in Durango, Colorado. She certified her first dog, Selah in Trailing and Cadaver 2 with Tri-State. Selah and Rae were fielded with La Plata County SAR for 10 years and Selah is now retired. Rae started her current K9, Oso in 2014 and he has certified in Obedience, Article/Evidence and, Cadaver through NAPWDA ( 2018) and Shoreline with Tri-State. Rae also has CPR and Wilderness First Aid certifications.
KIM SADAR - Board Member
Kim began training SAR dogs in 2005. She has trained dogs in Trailing, Human Remains Detection, Historic Human Remains Detection, Wilderness Air Scent and Evidence. Kim currently has 2 working dogs named AJ and Brody. Brody is a pup in training. AJ is dual certified in trailing and human remains detection. Kim is co-founder of CFC. She is a native of Colorado and is a retired firefighter.
AJ is Kim's third certified search dog. He is three years old and is a red coated Golden Retriever. AJ is certified in human remains detection, obedience and trailing.
NAPWDA Obedience and Cadaver: 2016, 2017, 2018
SARDUS HRD Type III and IV: 2/2018
NAPWDA Trailing: 5/2017
SARDUS Trailing: 11/2017
Training: Attended and facilitated at the FIRS Seminars in Grand Junction, CO. 2017, 2018
Exposure to whole bodies as well as building searches.
Brody was born in 2018 and is in training for human remains detection and trailing.
Mary began her career of Search and Rescue (SAR) dog training in 1986 in Albuquerque, NM, and has successfully certified trailing, wilderness area air scent, cadaver, and disaster dogs. She founded Sandia Search Dogs in 1999. She was a member of the New Mexico Task Force One FEMA team from 1993-2007 as a dog handler and team veterinarian. SAR deployments include hundreds of wilderness missions and deployment to the Pentagon for 9/11, and to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita with the disaster team. Mary is NASAR SAR Tech II certified and NM Field Certified. As a long time member of NM SAR, she was honored to receive the Ralph Dawdy Memorial Award signifying her dedication to the SAR community. Mary has presented numerous topics on dog training and, since a also a veterinarian, field first aid to canine handlers at the New Mexico annual SAR conference, Arizona SAR conference, and other venues. She also authored the “Use of Canines in SAR” chapter in the Boy Scouts of America’s Search and Rescue Merit Badge book, released in 2013.
Currently, Mary is handling Taz for CFC, a 5 yr old yellow Labrador Retriever that is dual certified by Sandia Search Dogs in Wilderness Area Air Scent and Human Remains Detection. Taz is an athletic, high energy dog who bears his name “Tazmanian Devil” well. He excels at large area searches and rubble search.
Certifications: NAPWDA Obedience and Cadaver 2016, 2017, 2018
Mary's dog, Indy, (4/26/16) , a yellow Labrador Retriever out of 3 Cedars Kennel in Pennsylvania, is newly certified in Human Remains Detection and Area search. He loves to swim!
NAPWDA, Obedience and Human remains detection, 11/2018
Cindy has been a member of Sandia Search Dogs for over thirteen years. She is currently training her Labrador, Callie, in both trailing and cadaver. Callie is mission ready in both areas and has attained certification with Sandia Search Dogs in both, as well as attained cadaver certification through North American Police Work Dog Association ( NAPWDA). Cindy has also trained an air scent search dog and has attained SAR TECH II status through NASAR. As a member of Sandia Search Dogs, Cindy has held numerous board positions including president, training officer, and membership officer. Cindy was the secretary for New Mexico Search Council from 2010-2013.
Current certification from NAPWDA, Sept. 2016.
Cindy has added a second canine,Popperrose. Popper is now certified in human remains detection,
NAPWDA Obedience and Cadaver, 2017, 2018
Karen started her career with search dog training in 2007 with Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado (SARDOC). She joined her local county Search and Rescue team, Larimer County Search and Rescue, in 2008.
In addition to Karen’s work with her K9, she is an ITC for her county fielding calls for Search and Rescue managers when a mission arises. She also serves as Director-At-Large on the Board of SARDOC.
Karen belongs to the following organizations:
Colorado Forensic Canines
Search and Rescue Dogs of U.S. (SARDUS)
Search and Rescue Dogs of Colorado (SARDOC)
Arya, a female Dutch Shepherd, is Karen's latest dog in training in both trailing and human remains detection.
SARDUS: HRD Type III & IV- 10/2018
LCSAR: HRD Canine Search Team Rating, 2018
Jim Delbridge, Mustang, Oklahoma
Training and working SAR dogs since March 1995.
Working and training HR dogs since Summer 1997.
Currently working Yates and Murphy in Historic Human Remains Detection. Both Yates and Murphy have trained and tested in NAPWDA certifications. Neither is now applied to law enforcement activities .
Death Investigator for Oklahoma's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner since October 2005, covering eleven-plus counties.
Education: Masters in Electrical Engineering. Six hours shy of Masters in Forensic Science, Technical Investigator path. Not completed due to starting as Death Investigator.
Completed 8-hour seminar in Water Death Investigation.
NASAR SAR Tech II for 16 years.
ANTHROPOLOGY / FORENSIC INVESTIGATIONS
Gary Scott, Anthropologist, Forensic Analyst, Metro State University, Assistant Field Support Coordinator- Board Member
Gary has a B.A. from the University of North Dakota, a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the latter at at which his advisorwas Dr. William Bass, originator of the "Body Farm," forensic research facility. He has been an adjunct faculty Anthropology instructor at Metropolitan State University of Denver for three years and with the Community College of Aurora for over eighteen years. His personal interests focus within the areas of human osteology, forensics and search techniques. Additionally, Gary has been with the Human Identification Laboratory (HIL) for 3 years and has assisted Federal, State, City and County law enforcement agencies with multiple human remains searches and the analysis of human skeletal remains. Gary appreciates the relationship that has developed between Colorado Forensic Canines and th
GROUND PENETRATING RADAR
Katharina Hemingway, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO
I discovered an interest for ground-penetrating radar during my undergraduate studies at the University of Denver about 2 years ago. It's ability to quickly, accurately, and non-destructively collect and present data is fascinating and an incredibly powerful technique that always has my interests peaked. My focus lies in using the GPR system for its forensic abilities, and I have worked on a variety of projects including assisting police departments on investigations, with historical and private cemeteries to locate lost burials, as well as simply looking for lost graves. It is also always a great pleasure to team-up with these fascinating dogs when we face difficult, large terrain. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding ground-penetrating radar, or if you need to figure out whether it would be appropriate to use this service on your project. Phone: 303-884-4613 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a store manager for K&G Fashion Superstores in Aurora, Colorado. Over the past 14 years, I have managed K&G stores in St. Louis, New Orleans, Atlanta and Oakland. I grew up in Mason City, Iowa. I played high school football, baseball and wrestled. I am an avid Colorado skier and have also skied Lake Tahoe, Utah, and Minnesota. My other interests include hiking, climbing 14ers, golf and biking. I joined the search for two missing hikers in the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area during the summer of 2014 and was part of the recovery team that located the men. My teammates say that my strong points are my strength, commitment, determination and sense of humor.
Over the past 15 years Amanda has worked as a field biologist, fire ecologist, wildand firefighter, and environmental consultant. As a result, Amanda has gained experience in navigation, GPS use, and hiking/backpacking, and has a great appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Amanda has been a member of the Sandia Search Dogs for over 2 years as a field support member. In addition, she is currently training to be a second handler for a Labrador, Gus, on Sandia Search Dogs in air scent. Amanda has attained SAR TECH II status through NASAR and is currently the secretary for Sandia Search Dogs.
I spent 31 years teaching teenagers and am currently retired. Some of my current time is spent supporting Colorado Forensic Canines in the capacity as Field Support along with driving the search boat for the group.
I have also trained 4 dogs to Schutzhund titles which includes tracking and obedience as part of the requirement. Because I have spent the last 30 years training dogs as a hobby, I understand the intricacies of training tracking, and the difficulty of the task. I currently serve as Western KG Secretary for the dog organization of DVG.
In addition, my love of the outdoors has instilled in me a confidence in the wilderness. Since I am an avid hiker it helps with physical conditioning, as well as, a healthy respect for Mother Nature. Colorado outdoor activities have been my passion for years. These qualities are needed in a person supporting the dog teams in outdoor searches.
My interests include hiking, climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, and snow sports, and I've had the good fortune to be able to do extensive back country travel, a great deal of it with map and compass prior to GPS availability for civilian use. In 2003, I wanted to learn how to use these new tools and started geocaching as a way of getting familiar with the new technology. Since then the “Geocaching Game” has become an end in itself – it's taken me to many interesting places which I would not have discovered otherwise, and back to some favorite areas that I had not visited in a long time.
I have climbed all of the 14,000' peaks in the lower 48 states and all peaks above 13,000' in Colorado and Utah, and have through hiked two long distance trails. I believe that being comfortable in rough terrain, both above and below timberline, and my experience in living outdoors and working through the logistics required to do these things are assets that I can bring to the CFC group.
Eric is relatively new to Search And Rescue (SAR), but no stranger to the outdoors. Born and raised in rural Nevada, has spent most of his life hiking, hunting, camping, looking for the next place to discover. Eric has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University. He worked 10 years in Aerospace for NASA, and has spent the last 20+ years in New Mexico with Los Alamos National Lab. Eric started working in the SAR community in 2018 and is now hooked. He has an air scent dog in training, is NM SAR Field Certified, and has a pretty reliable internal compass and mapping skills.
Lindsay grew up hiking and backpacking with her family in Wyoming and found geocaching/GPS navigation to be natural adjuncts to these outdoor interests. She loves the freedom that comes with being comfortable in the wilderness and is pleased to be able to contribute her skills to SAR/CFC efforts.After nearly 8 years on active duty as an Army physical therapist, she transitioned to the Reserves and now works at a civilian clinic in Colorado Springs. When she's not hiking, she enjoys traveling the world and volunteering with local athletic and outdoorsy groups.
Kirk Hilbelink- Geologist/ Field Support Services
I'm an avid wanderer and naturally curious soul. My background is in geology as a profession and rock collecting as an addiction. I also enjoy the occasional long trail run or off-trail excursion. All of these passions, along with an innate appreciation of the canine world, resulted in a serendipitous joining of the CFC circle in 2015. I live in Conifer with my wife Aspen, two squirrely young boys and three dogs.
Kirk plays an integral part in field support and works as a consultant to CFC regarding mine history, geologic formations as well as changes in soil levels with buried remains. He is the president of Conifer Environmental, LLC
Silvia Pettem is a self-employed researcher, author, writer, and public speaker with a passion for researching cold cases, unidentified remains, and longtime missing persons. She spent the first two decades of her career doing historical research and writing for individuals, businesses, and local governments. Then, in 1996, her life took a new turn when she stumbled upon the gravestone of a Jane Doe––a murder victim from 1954.
A few years later, she applied her research skills to both old-fashioned detective work and the power of the Internet by entering into a successful partnership with her local sheriff and with forensic experts of the Vidocq Society to determine the young woman’s identity. She chronicled their work in her book, Someone’s Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe.
Now an associate member of the Vidocq Society and one of its Medal of Honor recipients, Silvia is an American Investigative Society of Cold Cases consulting committee member, a volunteer in the Detectives Section of the Boulder Police Department, an advisory board member (and social media coordinator) of the organization Families of Homicide Victims & Missing Persons, and a NamUs instructor in classes sponsored by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
She wrote her latest book, Cold Case Research: Resources for Unidentified, Missing, and Cold Homicide Cases, in order to aid other investigators as they grapple with cold cases of their own. Silvia can be reached at email@example.com or via her website, www.silviapettem.com