People's Worldyoung Native woman was found shot in the head. She was so disfigured that her own mother, Tammy Carpenter, would not be allowed to identify her. Later, she was identified by her fingerprints. That Native woman was Angela Lynne McConnell, 26 at the time of her death. She was of Hoopa and Mohave descent. “Ang,” as she was called, was an enrolled member of the Hoopa tribe and my niece. The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is still investigating the case, and this September is the one-year memorial for Angela’s death. A story by Jim Schultz published on September 19, 2018 by the Redding Record Searchlight, stated that “According to the sheriff’s office daily logs, nearly 20 deputies, investigators, and other personnel were sent…to an unidentified residence to investigate a homicide case.” Though the case got a big initial response, it remains unsolved.
At events to which they are invited, activists bring buttons, banners, shawls, and bandanas to bring awareness to the public about the epidemic. They believe that having tools provides the dramatic visuals that awaken people to the genocide that continues today. The MMIW movement is strong and supported by volunteers nationwide. We need to demand change and justice for our MMIW if we expect any positive outcome for the cases that remain unsolved due to poor record-keeping and discrepancies based on bias. The MMIW epidemic is rampant throughout the United States and Canada. It is time to step forward because we, the family of Angela, refuse to suffer in silence. On May 4, a protest march was held in Redding by the family and supporters demanding “Justice for Angela.” We believe that this murder can be solved if the SCSO is properly equipped and has the intent to do so. Whether by tire tracks, footprints, fiber evidence, DNA of perpetrator(s), position of the body, the victim’s blood trail, and ammunition shell casings, this case can be solved. Ang’s family hopes that the SCSO will continue to actively pursue those responsible for the murder of Angela because “her murderer(s) is(are) still out there somewhere.” Otherwise, the family will take the case to the Office of the Attorney General of California as has been done before when local law enforcement is “dragging its feet.” The Hoopa tribe have matched the SCSO reward offer of $15,000 for a total $30,000. The Major Crimes Unit is urging anyone who has any information about the homicide to contact the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office at 530-245-6135 or the Anonymous Hotline at 530-243-2319.
A groundbreaking study from the Urban Indian Health Institute highlights the underreporting of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. #MMIW #MMIWG https://t.co/AURKBZkb4M pic.twitter.com/ITqtiPvbKD— indianz.com (@indianz) November 16, 2018
Melanie Bender is a photojournalist, covering the protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota and the ICWA case in Pine Ridge, S.D. She is Mohave and Choctaw. An artist of Native American beadwork, Melanie is also an activist and community organizer in Nashville for political issues involving Native American affairs.
This article originally appeared on People's World. It is published under a Creative Commons license.
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