Tribal and federal authorities continue to investigate Strong's disappearance, just one of countless cases of missing and murdered indigenous women in Washington. A new law required the state to identify those who have gone missing for the first time. The Washington State Patrol Missing & Murdered Native American Women Report, released June 1, identified 56 documented cases of missing Native women, representing 3 percent of the total. Of those, the most came from Yakima County. "While there are multiple databases, there currently is no centralized database that is all- encompassing of the information necessary to effectively meet the needs of this growing problem," the report stated.
The report identified 50 documented cases of missing Native men, representing nearly 5 percent of the total. The county breakdown was not provided. Native Americans represent 1.9 percent of the state population so the known data indicates that Native women and Native men are over-represented in the number of missing cases. The problem isn't just in Washington. According to a landmark report from the Urban Indian Health Institute, a division of Seattle Indian Health Board, only 116 cases of missing Native women were entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) even though there were more than 5,700 cases reported. To help address the situation, members of the Native community will gather at the office of the Seattle Indian Health Board on Thursday to enter the names of their loved ones into NamUS. The event, with Abigail Echo-Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation who serves as the director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, takes place from 5:30-7pm at 611 12th Avenue South in Seattle.
The Washington State Patrol Missing & Murdered Native American Women Report was released June 1, 2019.
Read More on the StoryAuthorities: Body found in freezer near Toppenish confirmed to be Rosenda Strong (The Yakima Herald-Republic July 12, 2019)
Body found in freezer near Toppenish belongs to Rosenda Strong (KVEW July 12, 2019)
"We have her back; not the way we wanted." Body near Toppenish confirmed as Rosenda Strong (The Yakima Herald-Republic July 13, 2019)
Family, friends gather in Toppenish to remember missing woman recently found (The Yakima Herald-Republic July 14, 2019)
Photos: Candlelight vigil for Rosenda Strong (The Yakima Herald-Republic July 14, 2019)
Community remembers Rosenda Strong during candlelight vigil (KIMA-TV July 14, 2019)
Football player wears handprint on his face to bring attention to missing Native women (The Yakima Herald-Republic July 14, 2019)
The remains of a Native American woman who went missing in October have been found (CNN July 15, 2019)
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