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Camden County has new K-9 to help solve child sexual, physical abuse cases

Camden County's new K-9, Beatrix, to help solve child sexual, physical abuse cases
Camden County's new K-9, Beatrix, to help solve child sexual, physical abuse cases 02:17

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- The Camden County Prosecutor's Office has a new member to help forensic investigators solve some of the most heinous cases. Meet Beatrix, who is only 1 year old and is one of only a few in New Jersey with this job.

Inside the Camden County Child Advocacy Center, Sgt. Kimberly Abreu is helping her 1-year-old border collie Beatrix get acclimated to her new job after joining the investigative team on June 1.

"Once I say we have a kid to play with her ear perks up," Abreu said. "She goes from my office, and she comes right into this room."

It is where forensic investigators speak with some of the youngest and most vulnerable victims of physical and sexual abuse, and that's where Beatrix comes in.

She's high energy but also docile and is now a trained and certified facility dog.

Abreu is her handler.

"Our goal is they said something to someone," Abreu said, "and they've let them know some kind of trauma that happened, and our goal is to have them talk to us."

Beatrix, better known as "Bea" around these halls, offers reassurance.

She greets the children and their families, brings the kids toys and even allows them to put glasses on her face. Her role is to help everyone feel more comfortable and more at ease.

"She's also trained to sit in her place in the interview room, kind of almost like a Woobie, if the child is reluctant to talk," Abreu said, "but we haven't had that happen yet."

"I think she is very good at her job because she's so playful," 8-year-old Ellie Brenner said.

Ellie is Abreu's daughter and doesn't mind sharing Beatrix with other children to help improve the outcomes of investigations in Camden County.

"It makes me really happy," Ellie said, "and I've seen it before, and it made me happy too."

Beatrix works full-time. A badge has been ordered for her and a local author has already drafted a children's book detailing Bea's impact on children at the child advocacy center.

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