The Navajo Nation's Division of Public Safety conducted searches for Anndine Jones after she went missing on the Utah portion of the reservation on March 14. Photo: Navajo Police Department

Navajo Nation in mourning after body of 4-year-old missing girl is found

Leaders of the Navajo Nation are mourning the loss of a 4-year-old girl who went missing on the Utah portion of the reservation last month.

Anndine Jones was last seen on March 14 at her home near the Aneth Chapter House. Despite extensive searches of the area, authorities weren't able to locate her.

But the Navajo Nation Police Department late Wednesday night said a body of a girl was recovered from McElmo Creek in Aneth. Her parents "tentatively identified" their missing loved one in what Chief Phillip Francisco said was an ongoing investigation by tribal and federal authorities.

"This has been a difficult time for everyone involved. At this time, we ask for the public's patience and understanding," Francisco said in a statement. "Details will be limited in the forthcoming days as the investigation continues."

"As protocol, the Navajo Division of Public Safety is investigating with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Francisco said. "We ask that the public continue to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers as they navigate through this difficult time."


An evening search team has been deployed as the search continues for the missing three year old child, Andanndine Jones. Operation planning is currently in progress for tomorrows efforts. Briefing will occur at 7:00 A.M. at the Aneth Chapter House. If you desire to volunteer your time, please sign in and register at the chapter house at 7:00 A.M.

Posted by Navajo Police Department on Friday, March 15, 2019
Navajo Police Department: Update on Anndine Jones Search - March 15, 2019

According to Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, law enforcement at this point do not believe foul play was a factor in Anndine's disappearance. He went to Aneth last Friday to meet with the girl's family and offer his support.

“As a father, it’s very heartbreaking to hear of the loss of baby Anndine," Nez said on Thursday. "We know that her family loves her very much and we want them to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers."

“It’s devastating to learn of Anndine’s passing. We will continue to pray for strength and comfort for her family, especially for her parents and siblings,” added Vice President Myron Lizer.

Delegate Charlaine Tso, who represents Aneth and neighboring communities on the Navajo Nation Council, the tribe's legislative body, said she was "sad and heartbroken" to hear the news.

"I am very sad and heartbroken to hear of Anndine Jones’ passing," Tso said on Thursday. "I prayed for days for a miracle. I will continue to support the Jones family and my community of Aneth."

"I ask that all of us hold our loved ones a little bit tighter tonight for we don’t know when we’ll see them next," she continued. "Please, look out for and support one another."

"Thank you to all who devoted their time, efforts, and resources to help look for our missing child," said Tso. "I pray God will lay His healing hand and comfort us."

Council Speaker Seth Damon also expressed condolences to Anndine's family.

"Today, the Navajo Nation grieves with the Jones family. On behalf of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, I extend our most heartfelt condolences to the Jones family and the community of Aneth," Damon said. "No family should endure this type of tragedy.

"Thank you to all the volunteers and the search and rescue personnel," he said.

Jesse Delmar, the executive director of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, said tribal, federal and state authorities are on the scene in Aneth as part of the ongoing investigation.

“We continue to work this case daily with hopes to bring closure as soon as we can. Our prayers are continuously with the family and the community of Aneth,” Delmar said.

Body found in McElmo Creek believed to be missing child Aneth, Utah – The Navajo Division of Public Safety believes...

Posted by Navajo Police Department on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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