What Is Child Abuse And Neglect? XYLA/ Pixabay

A 34-year-old father in Tennessee has been arrested for child abuse and neglect of his 6-year-old daughter. Nicholas Reeder was taken into police custody on Friday after he was found by authorities barricaded together with his daughter Kinzleigh, in the premises of his own property in DeKalb County.

According to a statement released by the DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray, Reeder was arrested after authorities raided his home and found that he had barricaded himself along with his daughter in an unventilated and decrepit outbuilding of Reeder's property. “The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department along with other agencies from across middle Tennessee have diligently worked around the clock looking for Kinzleigh Reeder,” Ray said.

“It all came to an end on Friday evening when the child was located in an outbuilding with her father.” Both father and daughter were found barricaded with little food and water.

The case has been on active investigation after the child was reported missing since May 26. She was previously removed from Reeder’s custody in March after they were found camped out under a bridge on March 18 at Dry Creek and Pea Ridge Road. The child was exposed to the elements on that cold rainy night and the impending threat of rising creek waters.

Inquiries came to reveal that Reeder had driven his Nissan Rogue off the roadway into the creek bed where it got stuck in the midst of a heavy downpour and the eventual flooding of the creek. The young girl was with him at the time prompting the Department of Children’s Services to charge Reeder with child abuse and neglect. Kinzleigh was then placed into temporary custody of a family member.

Upon his release from jail, Reeder was given approval by the DCS to live in the same residence where his daughter was staying. The County Sheriff eventually granted him custody of Kinzleigh but the sheriff’s office still has no clue what transpired between the day the child was last seen and the day they were found.

The search for Kinzleigh since the time she was reported missing required hundreds of manpower hours along with the help of thermal imaging from airplanes and drones.

A K9 bloodhound named K9 Deputy Fred and his handler Deputy Richard Tidwell from Rutherford County were employed to help with the search.

Deputies said Tidwell obtained an item belonging to Reeder and allowed Fred to smell it. Fred led them along a foot path from the home to a burn pile, a truck and an outbuilding. He sniffed the door and door knob, then sat down ot indicate that he had found the owner of the scent he was presented with.

Deputy Sheriff Ray said the officers had to make a forcible entry in Reeder’s home as the door to the outbuilding was barricaded with the windows covered up in metal. Ray described the scene saying there was a strong ammonia smell as law enforcers found a five-gallon bucket the two were using for their toilet.

“He licked her face and she gave him a big hug,” Tidwell said when K9 Fred saw Kinzleigh.

According to Fox5 Vegas, Fred usually gets a reward of chicken he can feast on when he makes a successful find. This time around, he also got an extra treat of pizza crusts.

Tidwell said he pulled the chicken from out his pocket and Fred ate the chicken. The four legged K9 Deputy then wanted to meet other people as if to say, "Look what I’ve done," his handler added.

Kinzleigh was released to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, while Reeder was arrested for child abuse and neglect, failure to appear, and custodial interference.

A bond has been set at $175,000 for Reeder’s release.

Representation Image Police Dog In Training Dimitrisvetsikas1969/ Pixabay