By Marianne Love, Correspondent
The nose always knows.
And that’s what the LAPD’s K-9 unit was banking on when one of their bloodhound sniffers was let loose to hunt down a gunman who allegedly critically wounded a California Highway Patrol officer during a traffic stop on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City.
Piper, a four-year-old, 68-pound reddish-brown pooch, was the hero of the day on June 13 when she led police to the suspect, who she found hiding in a homeless encampment.
After a 12-hour intense citywide manhunt, LAPD came up empty and Piper was called to do her thing.
The longer humans take to abandon an unsuccessful search, the harder it is for a bloodhound to pick up the pace.
Time, wind and heat dissipates the scent.
And finding the end of a trail can become difficult because a suspect can hop onto a bus or get in a car somewhere along the line, leaving searchers and dogs frustrated.
But it only took Piper 15 minutes from start to finish to locate Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, 33, hiding in a tent in an encampment. The former Marine was arrested shortly before 9 a.m. June 14 and now faces the charge of attempted murder of a peace officer, which could result in a sentence of 40 years to life in prison.
“Trailing is what Piper did,” said LAPD Sgt. Desi Ehrlich who supervises the K-9 unit. “She followed a scent trail left behind by the suspect. When we walk, we drop ‘skin rafts’ — which leave a trail behind us that are invisible to the naked eye. Only a dog’s nose can follow that trail.”
Source:: Los Angeles Daily News