Citizen’s drone spots missing teacher; now sheriff’s office wants one. TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of buying a drone after one owned by an area citizen helped find missing teacher Krista Perdue alive Tuesday evening. Between being understaffed and crunched for time, Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard says Tuesday’s missing teacher investigation was a challenge. “We were kind of thinking how are we going to be able to do this?” said Richard. “Obviously, we are going to maximize our manpower to go out there and do a physical search.” Their saving grace? A call from a citizen. This person doesn’t want to be named, but they offered their drone to search the area around a retention pond near Krista Perdue’s home on Trackside Drive in Tippecanoe County. “That was a no-brainer,” said Richard. “We obviously took the owner’s offer up on that.” From the ground’s perspective, it’s difficult to see what’s inside tall weeds. But from an aerial view, you can cut your search time in half. “If we did not locate the individual when we did,” said Richard. “Who is to say another night out in the elements or another 12-24 hours without being located, it could have ended up being a lot more serious or a fatal situation.” But even with the help of a drone, the sheriff’s office had to make special arrangements for the search. “We had probably a dozen individuals out there and those are individuals working off duty, working different shifts,” said Richard. He said his proposed five-year plan to add 10 more deputies would help with future investigations like Tuesday’s search. “If you have sufficient man power, you are able to do it with the men and women who are on duty and able to do it at that time,” said Richard. He is still hoping the county council approves that plan this summer. But before then, you may be seeing some robotic deputy assistance. “Lt. Ruley is looking in to all the fine details of getting it ordered and placing the order today,” Richard said referring to Wednesday. The sheriff said they’re going to train people and make sure they’re following federal drone regulations. But he feels the new drone will prove to be successful, as it did in the successful search for Krista Perdue.