Joshua Araujo

Joshua Araujo was born in Boynton Beach, Florida but raised in Brasilia-DF, Brazil. At the age of 18 Joshua came back to the USA. Joshua then joined the United States Marine Corps in 2011 to become a military police officer. In 2012 he was hand picked to become a K9 handler for 2D LE Battalion Camp Lejeune, NC.  He then attended a specialty canine program Specialized Search Dog.  In 2014 Joshua received orders to become a Specialized Search Dog trainer instructor where he trained dogs, taught students how to utilize these K9 assets, and procured potential K9s for the program. Josh separated from the Marine Corps in 2017. He joined AASAR in 2017 with his canine Layka, a Dutch Shepherd.

Certifications – IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler





Elizabeth Bachle

Elizabeth was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and then briefly left to attend college at Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. Elizabeth joined Alamo Area SAR in 2015 after deploying to the Wimberley floods that occurred in Central Texas in May 2015. She is an Emergency Medicine provider with interests in expanding her knowledge and skills in Wilderness/Disaster Medicine in the future. Her Border Collie, Rey, is her first SAR K9 and they have been an IPWDA certified Human Remains Detection K9 team since 2016.

Certifications – NASAR SARTECH II, IPWDA Certified K9 Handler, Basic Wilderness Search Specialist





Christina Brewster

Christina Brewster was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She has been around animals her whole life. She spent 4 years volunteering with horses and disabled children using equitherapy as a way of rehabilitation. She is currently enrolled in online classes to become a licensed veterinary technician. She joined AASAR with her pitbull Lucas McCain who is being trained for HR detection.








 Molly Buis

Molly Buis grew up in southeast Michigan, where she attended Michigan State University.  She joined AASAR in November 2016 on her arrival to San Antonio.  Her Labrador, Pippi, is her first SAR K9 and they are a IPWDA certified Human Remains Detection K9 team.

Certifications – IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler






 Karen Carr – President

Karen was born in Key West, FL. and raised on the Chesapeake Bay.  She got to TX as quickly as she could after traveling the world as a Navy wife and mother.  Since 1992, home has been Fredricksburg, TX.  Karen has been an active community volunteer serving on several non-profit boards.  She helped establish the local mentoring program in FISD.  After receiving her bloodhound pup, Woodrow, Karen decided to tackle the skill of man-trailing.  She joined AASAR in April 2015.  Karen and Woodrow are now an IPWDA Man-Trailing certified K9 team.

Certifications – NASAR SARTECH II, IPWDA Certified Trailing K9 Handler, Basic Wilderness Specialist





Chris Fritz

Christian Fritz is a doctoral student at Texas State University in the Criminal Justice department. He started search and rescue with Starbuck 5 years ago in Utah then rescued Saul about 6 months later and began training him as well.  Christian was an enlisted aircrew member in the Air Force and contracted in Afghanistan with the US Army before pursuing his education full time.  In addition to search and rescue he also trains and handles sea turtle nest detection dogs on Padre Island National Seashore with K9s 4 Conservation.

Certifications –  NASAR Certified Human Remains K9 Handler and NASAR Certified Live Area Search K9 Handler





Mat Garber

Mat lived in Michigan until he joined the military after high school. He spent the next 26 years in the military while completing degrees from Ferris State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Michigan. He joined the team as a flanker in 2017 after he realized the integral niche it filled for our community.








 Jennifer Holguin – Secretary

Jennifer was born in San Antonio but raised around the world as the daughter of an Air Force father.  She has lived in San Antonio since 1991 and joined Alamo Area SAR in 2015.  She has been a government contractor for 14 years and works as a database administrator at the Air Force Civil Engineering Center at Lackland AFB.  Jennifer and her canine Allie are a certified Human Remains Detection K9 team.

Certifications – NASAR SARTECH II, Basic Wilderness Search Specialist, IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler





Shiloh Hurst

Shiloh Hurst was born and raised in Redwood City, California. She moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2016; where she started a business and adopted her Australian Cattle Dog mix, Mowgli. Having always been interested in Search & Rescue, and looking for a way to volunteer in her new community, she jumped at the opportunity to visit Alamo Area SAR when a friend invited her to watch a training. Shiloh and her K9 Mowgli are now training to become a certified team in air scent/live find.






 Orlando Nunez – Operations Chief

Orlando was born in Corpus Christi, Texas into a military family.  He began his military career in June 1994 joining the United States Army Military Police Corps.  During his ten years in the Army, Orlando, was a canine handler at Fort Riley, Kansas as well as a canine trainer and instructor at the Department of Defense’s Military Working Dog Training Center, Lackland AFB, Texas.  In 2004, he was honorably discharged from the Army and accepted a civilian canine instructor position with the Department of Defense as an instructor in the Specialized Search Dog (SSD).  He joined Alamo Area SAR in 2010.  Orlando and his K9, Reme, a Belgian Malinois, are a certified Human Remains Detection K9 team.

Certifications – NASAR SARTECH III, Wilderness Search Specialist, IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler





 Susan Rodenko

Susan Rodenko was born outside of Chicago Illinois.  She was 91P in the U.S. Army during the Gulf war.  After the Army she worked as a Radiographer at a level 1 Trauma Center at Northwestern Hospital Chicago.   She successfully showed and won awards at the National Level with Great Danes and Paso Fino horses.  Her love of dogs and her strong desire to serve culminated in her desire to do search and rescue work.  Her main residence is in Midland, Texas.  She is currently certified with her bestie, Vuk, in Wilderness Human Remains Detection through IPWDA.


Certifications – IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler




James Saunders

In 2019, James joined AASAR after relocating to San Antonio. With his interest in search and rescue and his previous military training, James became a flanker to assist handlers and their dogs in search missions. Originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, James joined the United States Marine Corps in 2004 and later enlisted in the Air Force which brought him to the area. James spends free time rock climbing, hiking, and exploring the outdoors of Texas with his wife, daughter, and their dog. He is looking forward to the opportunity to work with AASAR to benefit the local community and improve his search and rescue skills.






Melissa Schmalhorst

Melissa, aka “Pony”, was born in Wiesbaden, Germany into a military family.  She grew up training horses and went to Missouri State University competing on the Equestrian Team and majoring in Animal Science.  She began her military career in July 2008 by joining the United States Air Force as Security Forces.  During her ten years, she was an Armorer/Designated Marksman at Incirlik AB, Turkey, a Fire Team leader/Heavy Weapon gunner at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, and a patrol/explosive canine handler at Fairchild AFB, Washington as well as a lead trainer for MWD teams.  She deployed multiple times to the Middle East and went on numerous US Secret Service missions with her explosive dogs Glen N733 & Bety R204.  She PCS’d in 2015 and became a trainer at the Department of Defense’s Military Working Dog Training Center, Lackland AFB, Texas.  During that time she joined Alamo Area Search and Rescue. In 2018, she was medically retired from the Air Force and is now enjoying retirement with her most recent partner, Bety R204.  She is an active mentor for the Air Force Wounded Warrior program and plans to continue helping veterans and training dogs with AASAR.  Melissa and her canine Annie, a Belgian Malinois, are training in Human Remains Detection.




 Sarah Stone – Vice President

Sarah was born in Texas City, TX.  but  moved around the world until she attended Texas Tech University.  She is married with two children and four grandchildren.  Her last job was director of the Pregnancy Care Center.  She is retired and decided to join Alamo Area SAR during June 2015.  Sarah and her GSD Merci are a human remains detection K9 team.

Certifications – NASAR SARTECH II, Wilderness Search Specialist, IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler






Racheal Study

Racheal Study was born in Denver, Colorado. She joined the United States Marine Corps in 2012 to become a military police officer. She was then stationed in Iwakuni AB, Japan where she was hand selected to become a K9 handler for the United States Marine Corps. While in Japan Racheal was the Kennel Master/ Chief Trainer and had to work in conjunction with the Japanese Nationals. In 2015 Racheal received orders to train dogs for the Department of Defense. Racheal separated from the Marine Corps in 2017 and joined AASAR in 2017.

Certifications – IPWDA Certified Human Remains K9 Handler





David Wilde

David was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, California and attended college in Utah before moving to San Antonio in 2016. He has been interested in Search and Rescue for several years and joined the team in 2017 to give back to the community and as an excuse to get outside at least once a week. He is married with a two-year-old son and is currently a 3rd-year medical student in the MD program at UT Health.






 Lee Wingert – Treasurer

Born and raised in San Antonio.  Served seven years in the US Navy aboard two different aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War.  Graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.  Career in senior management positions in major corporations in Human Resources, Labor Relations, Safety and Security positions.  SPHR-Emeritus and SHRM-SCP certifications from the Society of Human Resource Management and the HR Accreditation Institute.  Football Official for 46 years, working the Referee position.  Previously served as the CERT Program Manager for San Antonio.  Currently a Commissioner on the Municipal Civil Service Commission for the City of San Antonio, hearing cases of discipline and discharge of city employees. Married with three grown children and one grandchild.  Joined Alamo Area SAR in 2013 to continue serving the emergency management community.

Certifications – Incident Support Specialist, Basic Wilderness Search Specialist, NASAR SARTECH III, FCC Licensed Radio Operator, CERT Master Instructor