Episode 184: Eileen Roemer – FBI Cadaver Dogs, 9/11 Search and Recovery

Retired agent Eileen Roemer served for twenty years in the FBI. Before entering on duty, she had been commissioned as an officer in the US Navy, attaining the rank of captain as a reservist. During her Bureau career, she investigated White Collar Crime, Violent Crime, Organized Crime, and Counterterrorism.

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Eileen Roemer reviews her time training her unofficial FBI cadaver dogs, Riley and Bailey, both Golden Retrievers.

She discusses the search and recovery work she and her dogs were assigned, locating human remains at crime scenes, including the Pentagon, where she responded with them for twelve days immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

At the time she began working with her FBI cadaver dogs, Eileen Roemer was a Supervisory Special Agent and Psychological Profiler in the Profiling Unit, now known as the BAU, at Quantico, Virginia. She is a trained Police Instructor, Crisis Manager, and Crisis/Hostage Negotiator. Later in her career, she was assigned to Gulfport, Mississippi, where she supervised 25 Special Agents and Task Force Officers and to the Department of Homeland Security as Senior FBI Liaison.

Following retirement, she worked as a consultant for the National Counterterrorism Center and US Central Command. She served on the Board of the Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota, Florida.

On October 19, 2019, Eileen Roemer will be installed as the President of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.

She was previously elected and served as a Foundation Trustee and a Regional Vice President for the organization.

Special Agent (Retired)

Eileen Roemer

1985 – 2006









“A lot of people confuse search and rescue with search and recovery. Search and rescue is when you’re looking for live people who are missing. Search and recovery is when you’re looking for death, someone who will probably be dead when you find them.”—Retired Agent Eileen Roemer

The following are links to articles about cases where the FBI cadaver dogs were used to assist with search and recovery investigations:

The Morning Call – 7/22/2017:  Finding bodies: ‘A well-trained dog can’t be replaced’

CNN – 7/13/2017:  How cadaver dogs found a missing Pennsylvania man deep underground

WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore 10/5/2017:  Video: Cadaver dog helping state police solve murder cases

CBS News – 10/21/2011:  Cadaver dog gets “positive hit” at missing baby Lisa Irwin’s home

Barkpost Blog –  14 Dog Breeds With A Nose For Sniffing Out Crime

*BONUS *GIVEAWAY* from my book –FBI Word Search Puzzles: Fun for Armchair Detectives. Click, print, and enjoy!

Bailey, left, and Riley worked at the Pentagon after the September 11 attack and were part of a health monitoring program sponsored by IAMS that checks them for cancer and other problems that could have been caused from the search. (The Mississippi Press/Carisa McCain)










Eileen Roemer training her Golden Retriever for search and recovery at a wooded site.












Eileen with her search and rescue dog Riley during the early days .











Eileen with Bailey at the Pentagon Memorial.















Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. Tracy May AdairOctober 20, 2019

    What a great interview, thank you. I was amazed to hear about body fluids soaking into soil, and that reminded me of when we were at Antietam this year with our labradoodle, Fezzik. Fezzik can spot a doggie playmate at 500 yards but he’s never been overly interested in dead birds, frogs etc that me might run across on walks. But when we got out of the car at the parking are by Antietam’s Bloody Lane, where literally hundreds died in a narrow chute, he practically pulled us over the ridge and down into the lane. He would have spent the whole day sniffing the grass there if we had let him. I’ve never seen anything like that but since the human remains had been removed to other gravesites, it didn’t occur to me he was reacting to a human smell. Given what I heard on the show today, I think the ground there must have been completely saturated with blood and other body fluids, and that’s what he was reacting to. Love your podcast, keep them coming!

    1. Jerri WilliamsOctober 20, 2019

      Wow. That could definitely be the answer to Fezzik’s behavior. How fascinating.


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