OLYMPIA, Wash — A report done by the Washington State Patrol identified 56 indigenous woman missing across the state. The report also listed some of the possible reasons why that population is at higher risk of becoming victims of violence.
A space usually reserved for missing children now hosts the picture of a missing mother, Alyssa McLemore.
Thanks to a truck provided to the state by Kam-Way Transportation, Inc., pictures of McLemore will be on the side of a semi-truck riding around state highways. She was last seen in Kent in 2009.
McLemore is one of the 56 missing indigenous women.
Washington State Patrol Captain Monica Alexander, who authored the report, said she found a lack of trust from tribal members in state and local law enforcement.
She said the state is hiring “tribal liasons” to work with the state patrol's missing persons investigators.
Alexander also decided to put McLemore’s picture on the truck
“I believe this begins to build some of the trust,” said Alexander, “We do care, we do want your family members to be found and we will do everything we can.”
McLemore was 21 when she called 911 screaming for help, but the call dropped out.
Her father, Darius Burgans, said the case got a little attention when it happened, but he felt like people gave up trying to find her. The family never gave up, he said, and the moving billboard gives him renewed hope.
"Looking at this shows me others have faith too that she's still here and we need to find her,” said Burgans.