National Guard Sergeant reunited with dog lost in West Virginia for over a month

The dog of an Indiana National Guard Sergeant who had been missing in West Virginia for almost a month has been reunited with its owner.

Murphy the dog disappeared on June 12 following his owner Sgt. Jillian Sandefur’s rollover collision on US Route 35 at the Mason-Putnam county line. The crash scared Murphy, and he fled.

The damage to Sgt. Sandefur’s car after a rollover wreck on June 12.

Sgt. Sandefur soon had to return to Indiana for work, and she was heartbroken that she had to leave Murphy behind.

Locals have been working hard to find Murphy since that day, setting traps, making regular trips, and checking for pawprints. Murphy was discovered on July 14, one month and two days after his disappearance.

Locals Becky Randolph and Tera Gardner agreed to keep Murphy in custody until he could be reunited with Sgt. Sandefur. Gardner’s aunt lives in Goshen, Indiana, roughly 30 minutes from Sgt. Sandefur’s home in Mishawaka, Indiana.

Gardner, her and Randolph’s son Brayden, and a few of other rescuers departed West Virginia at 8:27 p.m. on Friday to return Murphy home.

Gardner and Randolph’s son, Brayden, holds Murphy before the drive from West Virginia to Indiana.

Sgt. Sandefur was finally reunited with Murphy after the crew landed in Indiana shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday!

Randolph and Gardner stated that assisting Murphy in returning home was a selfless deed.

“We did this from the heart,” Randolph and Gardner said. “We are not taking no reward. Jillian [is] fighting for our freedom — we owe her.”

Sgt. Sandefur expressed her excitement at having Murphy back home and gratitude for the assistance of so many people who cared. While Gardner and Randolph did not desire a reward, Sgt. Sandefur took the time to handwrite them a thank you message that included images of Murphy.

“To: My Heroes

It’s not everyday that you encounter people who are exceptionally selfless to others, such as yourself. My fur baby family and I couldn’t be more grateful. Please accept this card and photos as a token of our appreciation for everything you have done to bring Murphy home.”


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