Do-gooders slowed search for missing boy

A three-year-old boy who spent a night lost in a Danish forest last week could have been found earlier if less people had tried to help with the hunt, according to police. The sheer number of community volunteers who showed up to look for missing Holger Kragh stopped the specially-trained sniffer dogs from picking up the boy’s scent, according to The Copenhagen Post.

”It was wonderful that so many people wanted to help, but in fact there were way too many people in the area around the scout hut where Holger disappeared. That made it difficult for the police dogs to work,” Flemming Jacobsen, who led the police search, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

After disappearing on Sunday 27th March, Holger was located the next day by a lone Icelandic man, Lars Bro, on horseback – seemingly better equipped in the search than hundreds of volunteers and 20 rescue dogs.

”I’ll hazard a guess that a police dog could have found Holger in less than an hour, if it had been an undisturbed area,” said Jacobsen. ”We can’t just tell a work dog that it should look out for a three-year-old, red-haired boy. The dog is reacting to all the people and other dogs in the area.

”Some of the volunteers were almost a little angry with us because we couldn’t give them a clear answer about how they could help. But you can’t just say: ‘You go that way, and we’ll go the other way’. That doesn’t work,” Jacobsen added.