SEATTLE — The number of Native American women officially listed as missing is now upwards of 50 in Washington, leading families and communities to wonder what is being done in order to find their loved ones and keep them safe.
Captain Monica Alexander of the Washington State Patrol has compiled and delivered to legislature a lengthy report that details the discrepancies found in the handling of these missing persons cases and what tribal communities are experiencing, including cultural misunderstandings and a lack of accessible resources.
The report also says Native communities felt as if there was inconsistent reporting methods with authorities.
"There's a lot of animosity and frustration and sadness and heartache in these communities, and they just want us to take them seriously," Alexander said.
According to Alexander, only 13 of the 56 reported missing women were logged on NamUs, a free, public database for missing persons.
The state only uses databases they're mandated to use, Alexander said. The state was not mandated to use NamUs.
Now, the Washington State Patrol will have two tribal liaisons-- one working on the east and one working on the west.
For more information on missing person cases in Washington, contact the Washington State Patrol.
If you spot a missing person, contact 911 immediately.
You can read the report presented to the legislature.