NELSON COUNTY, Ky. – When Officer Jason Ellis died in 2014, his K-9 partner, Figo, placed his paw on his handler’s casket. On Friday they were reunited – for good – when Figo was laid to rest beside Officer Ellis.
The two served together, but they were more than partners. And to others, Figo was more than a dog.
“It was part of Jason still with us, you know? The kids’ memories, they would think of Figo and Jason together. They see Figo – that’s part of their memory. They were very young. That’s aprt of their memory,” said Kris Phillips, Officer Ellis’ mother-in-law and Figo’s caretaker. We knew this day was coming, but it still doesn’t make it any easier.”
Fellow officers, K-9 officers and their partners, community members with their pets – even a retired Navy dog – were all there to pay their respects at a memorial service Friday evening outside the Bardstown Police Department.
There is a special bond between K-9s and their handlers. So to friends and family it is no coincidence that Figo passed away just two days before the fourth anniversary of Officer Ellis’ death in May.
“I think the good Lord knew that Figo’s health was going, his hips were going, and he had been protecting that family and finishing out the career he had left, and it was his time to go,” one former Bardstown officer said at the service. “And Jason needed him.”
A procession of police cars took Figo home to Highview Cemetery, where Officer Ellis is buried. Figo was laid to rest beside his fallen partner, where, anyone there would tell you, is right where he belongs.
Officer Ellis’ murder remains unsolved. Anyone with information can contact KSP Elizabethtown at (270) 766-5078 or EllisCaseETips@ky.gov.