A police dog credited with finding the remains of dozens of people in DuPage County died, DuPage County Sheriff's
 officials announced Monday.  Stitch, the Sheriff's Office's only cadaver canine, died Friday afternoon, officials said.
He was nine.  Sheriff John E. Zaruba called him one of the most unique canines the department has ever had.
"In his career of detecting human remains, tracking criminals and sniffing out narcotics, he had some amazing finds,
" Zaruba said in a press release on Monday. "Stitch spent his life protecting the citizens of DuPage County
and his partner Deputy Bertuca, and for that, I am thankful. We will all miss him. "Stitch's handler,
 Deputy John Bertuca could not be reached for comment Monday.
Stitch has been with the deputy since he was a puppy, said Dawn Domrose, spokeswoman for the
 DuPage County Sheriff's Office. He was imported from Germany and donated by a local breeder.
The department has had canines for about 25 years, but Stitch is the first to be trained and certified in
 cadaver detection, Domrose said.  According to the press release, he "is credited with recovering the
remains of dozens of people in his career, which provided evidence to law enforcement and gave closure
to grieving families. In addition Stitch was also known for his narcotic detection and tracking abilities."
Domrose did not know Stitch's cause of death. The department last lost a canine in 2010, she said.

qtruong@tribune.com   -  submitted by Jim Cortina, Dir. CPWDA