Indian family worried about missing daughter

UPDATE: Trisha Lee Roubideaux has been located as of Wednesday night around 8 p.m. The following is a statement from her family.

The family of Trisha Lee Roubideaux wants to thank everyone who provided support, prayers and assistance after her disappearance on Friday, May 21. Thanks to your help, Trisha has been found safe and sound, and we are all very happy. We particularly want to thank the Fairfax County Police for their help in finding her. We also want to thank the tribal community, including the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs for their support during this trying ordeal. Most of all, we are glad that Trisha is safe.

Police in the Washington, D.C., area are investigating the suspicious disappearance of an 18-year-old member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Trisha Lee Roubideaux was last seen Friday when she left for a job interview and never came back. Her mother, Gail Veney, said it was "uncharacteristic" for her not to return to the family's Northern Virginia home.

"We're Indians living here in the city," Veney said yesterday. "We really only have ourselves."

Veney, an employee of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said she waited until Saturday morning to contact police because she thought her daughter might have spent the night at a friend's house. But when the friend said he hadn't heard from Trisha, Veney panicked.

"In Indian Country our kids are raised by everybody," Veney said. "She trusted everybody. That makes me worried."

Trisha has spent most of her life between the Washington area and the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, her mother said. She finally made a permanent move a year ago after finishing high school back in South Dakota.

"She had family," Veney said. "She loved it here."

Police in Fairfax County put out a missing person's bulletin yesterday, hoping that the public comes forward with information about Trisha. "Obviously it's suspicious if somebody doesn't come home when they're expected to," said officer Ryan Morgan.

"There's no evidence of foul play," he added, "but it's definitely unusual. We would ask the public for assistance and if they would contact us if they know of Trisha's whereabouts."

Detectives have taken Trisha's computer in hopes of finding any clues to her disappearance. Trisha often chatted on the Internet with friends, said her mother, who gave police a list of her usernames, e-mail accounts and contact information of her friends.

"The investigators are attempting to see if there's been any communication since she was reported missing," Morgan said. There was no word yesterday whether Trisha contacted anybody, he said. Police are treating the case as an adult missing person's report because Trisha is 18. She turns 19 on June 6.

Trisha left her family's home in the 8500 block of Bound Brook Lane in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria around 8 a.m on Friday. She had an 11 a.m. job interview at Reagan National Airport in northern Virginia.

She took a Fairfax County Connector bus to get to the Huntington stop on the Washington Metro, her mother said. From there, it was a short train ride to the airport.

"This was actually the first time she took the bus and the first time she took the Metro [alone]," Veney said yesterday. "She was determined to do it by herself. She wanted to be independent. My husband offered to take her and she said, 'Dad, I gotta do this on my own otherwise I'll never grow up.'"

Police have confirmed that Trisha made it to her job interview at the airport. They have reviewed airport surveillance tapes, which show her entering the facility. The restaurant where she sought a job, the Great Steak and Potato, also confirmed she showed up for the interview.

The security tapes show Trisha leaving the airport around 1:30 p.m. From there, she would have hopped on the train to get home.

But Trisha's family and friends are worried that any evidence of her next move may be lost because the Metro erases its surveillance tapes -- which are separate from the airport's -- after 72 hours. The policy has been in place since 2002, said a spokesperson.

Trisha's mother said the Metro tapes would be crucial to the investigation. "I kind of find it hard to believe she got sidetracked," Veney said. The airport is connected to the Metro stop.

Word of Trisha's disappearance spread quickly yesterday at the BIA, where Veney and her three sisters are employed. Veney, a member of the Tonawanda Band of the Seneca Nation from New York, has worked at the agency for 16 years.

Trisha's grandmother lives on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation but family in South Dakota has not heard from Trisha either. Veney said she didn't think her daughter would have tried to go back to the reservation "but you never know what a kid is going to do."

"She always called me and let me know where she's at," Veney said. "She always called. I don't care what she was doing she always called."

Trisha Lee Roubideaux is 5- feet 1-inch tall and weighs about 130 pounds. She has long, straight black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a white shirt and tan pants the day she was last seen.

Anyone with information on Roubideaux's whereabouts is asked to call Fairfax County, Virginia, police at (703) 691-2131.

More Information:
Police Bulletin | Family Flyer

Relevant Links:
Fairfax County Police Department -
Washington Metro -
Reagan National Airport -