The Pennington County Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into the 9-year-old girl who has been missing since she ran away from a rural residential facility nearly five weeks ago. 

"Although we still have not found Serenity Dennard, there continues to be a lot of work behind the scenes," the office said in a Friday press release.

Dennard ran away from the Black Hills Children's Home, located near Rockerville, around 10:45 a.m. Feb. 3. After searching for her, staff called law enforcement at 12:26 p.m. About 355 people and 14 dogs from 34 agencies, plus a helicopter and plane, searched for Dennard on Feb. 3-5, Feb. 8-10 and Feb. 13.

A team of investigators work on the case each day and have conducted 256 interviews so far, the release says. There have been 57 leads reported in South Dakota and other states and each has been followed by the sheriff's office, other local agencies or the FBI.

Someone from the FBI also visited the sheriff's office to review its files and provide advice and technical assistance, the release says. A video about Dennard produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System is now circulating nationally.

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The sheriff's office said it will resume searching for Dennard once most of the snow melts.

Dennard is white, 4 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 96 pounds, and has blue eyes and shoulder-length dark blonde hair. She was wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt with flowers, blue jeans and black snow boots when she ran away. Anyone with information about her should call the sheriff's office at 394-6115.

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