Kimberly Loring has been looking for her missing sister for more than a year.
“I didn’t hear from her and when she went missing, we thought that Ashley was only with a friend for a few days,” Kimberly explained. “When we went to the cops, they said that Ashley is of age and that Ashley is allowed to leave. But then it went into, like, two months and they were still saying that Ashley is of age. But now it is 15 months later and Ashley is still missing. It’s been a huge mess.”
20-year-old Ashley Loring Heavyrunner disappeared from the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana in June 2017. Her disappearance is just one example of a much larger issue. When Native American women and girls go missing, records of their disappearances are rarely filed. There also isn’t a government agency in charge of tracking these types of cases.
According to a 2016 report, 84% of Indigenous women experience violence during their lifetime. According to the Justice Department, women on some reservations are murdered at a rate that is more than 10 times the national average.
“It’s been 15 months now, and Ashley is still missing, and the fact that we still have to go look for her in the mountains, and then we have to have all these other rumors still come, and that nobody is speaking the truth, I think that is also the worst thing,” Kimberly said.