Emergency Response

On Wednesday, the Trump Administration’s task force on missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives met in Washington, D.C. to begin discussing the development of protocols to solve more than 5,700 cold cases and address new ones.

President Donald Trump created the seven-member task force and charged it with presenting a final report by November 2021. The members' responsibilities will include sorting out jurisdictional roles and consult with tribal governments on the scope of the problem.

“The disappearance and death of American Indian and Alaska Native people, particularly women and girls, is an especially tragic chapter in a long story of marginalization and trauma suffered by native people,” said U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, who co-chairs the group along with U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

A 2018 report from the Urban Indian Health Institute, a division of the Seattle Indian Health Board, found that as of 2016, there were 5,712 reports of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The U.S. Department of Justice’s missing persons database only contained 2% of those cases.

Colorado has a native population of approximately 80,000 in the Front Range, which is increasing because of programming and support services offered there, The Colorado Sun reports.

The institute cataloged 12 cases in Denver of missing and murdered women. One of the women, Dawn DeHerrera, was killed in a massage parlor in 2003. The Denver Police Department is still asking for tips to locate her murderer. Denver is among the top 10 cities in the country with cases not entered in any law enforcement database.

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