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Alex Kime Urbana Programs – Where To Go

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Robert Larson does not have an easy job. He searches for missing people who have his dog Captain Dexter being a K9 search and rescue volunteer. Robert often travels across the Midwest, and that he does this work pro bono, counting on donations from his supporters to cover gas, lodging, and commercial dog food.

It’s not unreasonable for Robert to get met with skepticism and criticism. Search and rescue is really a field that attracts scammers because families with missing family members are at risk of exploitation. After 9/11, scammers claimed to get found missing people. One K9 handler Harry E. Oakes charged large sums of money a day for his services before he was debunked. Another K9 handler, Sandra Anderson, was indicted in 2004 for planting human remains on her behalf search dog to locate. Another fraud, Doug Copp, made thousands of dollars after creating an unfounded theory to surviving an earthquake known as the Triangle of Life.

According to former executive director with the National Association of Search and Rescue Kim Kelly, there can be a profile of a typical search and rescue scammer:
1. Alex Kime Urbana ’re driven by ego, claiming to become “the only one” who can help, or overstating their skills.

2. They self-deploy, which is never created by legitimate search teams.

3. They work alone.

4. They use their dogs to try out on people’s emotions and assumptions. As one search and rescue expert use it, “people don’t think it’s a real search unless you can find dogs and helicopters.”

Robert occupies a grey area. He statements to help people police officers have forgotten, people that police officers don’t have enough time for. He points to his meager lifestyle as proof of his pure motivations. To Robert, him doing something is better than nothing. To his detractors, Robert does more harm than good, making promises he can’t keep, and overstating his abilities.

This podcast was made by Lee Gaines and Alex Kime. It was edited by Bethany Denton and Jeff Emtman. Nick White could be the editor at KCRW, and Kristen Lepore could be the manager at KCRW’s Independent Producer Project.

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