Search for missing 9-year-old girl in South Dakota on hold

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Authorities have put on hold the search for a 9-year-old girl who ran away from a residential youth home amid frigid weather more than a week ago in South Dakota.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom told reporters Monday that authorities are regrouping and trying to decide "how and when" they continue recovery efforts for Serenity Dennard.

The Rapid City Journal reports the sheriff said the investigation remains open until the girl is found.

The search for Serenity had been stalled for two days because of a winter storm before resuming Friday. The girl went missing Feb. 3 in subfreezing temperatures from the Black Hills Children's Home near Rockerville.

The sheriff's office has said if the girl was outside, it's unlikely she survived because she wasn't dressed for the weather. Authorities said their efforts are now focused on finding her body .

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com