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FBI offers blueprint for missing Indigenous peoples list

 FBI agent in front of Shiprock in the Navajo Nation.
FBI, Indian Country Crime
FBI agent in front of Shiprock in the Navajo Nation.

News brief 

The FBI in New Mexico recently released a list of almost 180 missing Indigenous people throughout the state and Navajo Nation, which also stretches into Utah and Arizona.

The agency believes this is the first list of its kind. It includes teens, adults of all ages and one person who has been missing for almost 70 years.

FBI spokesperson Frank Fisher says analysts went through hundreds of cases and found out-of-date and incomplete reports. That’s been a consistent problem for those working on cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people.

They’re hoping that groundwork could be a model around the Mountain West and the nation.

“We feel it would be counterproductive for other states to start from scratch,” Fisher said. “This is a blueprint and we want to share this path going forward.”

Over the last six months, Fisher says, the FBI combed through several databases, including the National Crime Information Center, and social media pages to generate the list. They could only verify 177 cases, but there could be many more.

“We hope this shines a spotlight on the missing Indigenous person’s issue here in New Mexico, as well as nationally,” Fisher said. “These families need closure and justice.”

He says if people’s loved ones aren’t on the list, they should contact their local law enforcement agencies. To view this list or get more information, go to fbi.gov/mmip

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 KUNM. To see more, visit KUNM.

Emma Gibson
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