FBI Albuquerque
Public Affairs Specialist Frank Fisher
(505) 889-1438
July 1, 2020

FBI Media Alert: 18 Years After Laverda Sorrell's Disappearance, FBI, Navajo Nation, and Family Appeal to Public for Answers

The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety are marking the 18th anniversary of the disappearance of a Native American woman by distributing a poster on her case in the Navajo language and reminding the public of a reward of up to $10,000.

Laverda Sorrell, of Navajo, New Mexico, was last seen by her husband, according to a statement he provided to authorities. He said he dropped her off at 11:30 p.m. on July 4, 2002, at the Window Rock School District #8 in Fort Defiance, Arizona, where she worked.

A family member reported her missing to the Navajo Police Department on July 8, 2002.

“Anyone who disappears often leaves behind loved ones who will never stop looking for them, and that’s the case with Laverda,” James Langenberg, special agent in charge of the Albuquerque FBI Division, said.  “The FBI is committed to providing answers for her family and we will not stop looking for her, either.”

"We are very committed to resolving this case and we continue to seek the public's help for any information that would be helpful to us," said Jesse Delmar, executive director of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

A statement provided by the family reads: “As her family, we are sending out this sincere plea to the public to help us as we have not given up on our search to find Laverda. No matter the outcome, we are determined to bring her home and find closure for our family.   Laverda was everything to our family: a daughter, a mother, a sister, and an aunt who was such a compassionate, selfless, and caring person.  She was the glue that kept and brought our family together because of her tender, gentle, and loving grace. If you have any information that might be helpful, we implore you to contact the FBI immediately.”

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Laverda Sorrell’s disappearance.

Anyone with information on Laverda Sorrell’s disappearance is asked to call the FBI at (505) 889-1300 or send information online at tips.fbi.gov

A photo of Laverda and links to posters in English and Navajo can be found at: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/laverda-sorrell.