• Retired JSO officer talks effects missing girl's case can have on officers

    By: Courtney Cole , Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The search for a Jacksonville 5-year-old has reached its third day, on Friday -- and so far hundreds of officers and volunteers have come up empty-handed.

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    Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole spoke to an officer who has worked these kinds of missing children's cases in the past. He tells her about what officers go through and the toll it can take on them.

    His name is Kim Varner Sr. and he spent 26 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

    Varner told Cole that because he is a parent, the details of the cases he has previously worked stay with him today.

    "Being a parent, you want to find that child, but you don't want to be the one to walk up and find that child's body, you know, if that's the case — if that child is deceased," Varner said.

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    Varner is not working this "missing persons" case — but his decades of experience, including 18 years in narcotics and working in specialized units and task forces, led him to work cases that were similar to Taylor's.

    "You don't know where to start looking. You get little clues, little hints and you go out and begin your searches," Varner said.

    The search for Taylor continues, but the Sheriff's Office has scaled back some.

    "In my opinion, it's in recovery stages now," Varner said.

    When Cole asked what more could be done, Varner said:​​​​​​​ "JSO has been doing a great job, I've got to say. They deployed all the units they could to search for 'em and they've been working endlessly to find 'em," Varner said.

    Based on his previous experience, Varner said we can expect to learn more information about this case in the next couple of days.

    Action News Jax will continue to follow this story closely and bring you updates as we receive them.

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