FBI Phoenix Hosts Missing Person Identification Project Event
Navajo subtitles available in video settings. In early 2023, the FBI Phoenix Field Office hosted a Missing Person Identification Project event. It was designed to bring federal and tribal authorities together within Native communities to re-examine existing missing persons cases and share resources.
Monica Martinez: He was rambunctious but also very loving. He always protective, very, very protective of our siblings. He didn't let more than a couple of days where he didn't call me. So, you know, after week, after month. And so I felt like something was wrong. I didn't know where my brother was. What happened to my brother? I just I miss him.
Alane Breland: We're at the former Salt River High School for the Missing Persons Identification Project.
Maricela Savalas: This event brings together everybody in one place to provide the families of the missing, to have a one-stop shop, to be able to create a police report, be able to provide a DNA sample, and to finally get resources also for their family members and themselves.
Akil Davis: Outreach and community partnerships is really key, and that's kind of been the focus of FBI Phoenix over the last year or so. We're really trying to lean into these communities to let them know that we're here for them and really peel back the curtain and let them know how we investigate these crimes and let them know kind of the average time on these is is significant, but it is such so that we have successful prosecution.
Savalas: The focus is to invite the families, and we already have a list of people that are reported as missing. So what we do is, they'll come in, will greet them, we'll do an intake form with them. And in that intake form, we're trying to capture the information in one spot. That form is provided to each of the agencies, and we'll go to each of those agencies one at a time to see what information they can provide with those family members.
One on one, a victim specialist will be with them and walking with them from each station. After the station is complete, they'll go to the resources that are in that community to either get counseling services, fill out crime victim compensation applications that they haven't done that. And also to see if there are any civil issues that they'd like to do or civil options that they'd like to address, too.
Breland: There is an appetite for interaction with federal agencies. People want to to have that interaction. They want to have those relationships. They want to be able to use those agencies as resources for information, resources for things that they need in their family. And so, by bringing this event into the community and by bringing all of our partners together into the community, it's much more accessible and they feel more at home accessing the information that they should have access to anyway.
Martinez: I, I was looking forward to day for awhile. They called me and they told me about this event that was happening, and I was looking really forward to it because I felt like, I felt like someone was going to actually care now. Because even though we reported it to police, I didn't feel like they cared enough and like they really weren't trying. So, today made me feel like there was something, you know, like something that something was going to happen.
Savalas: While we're not directly involved in missing person cases in the FBI, that's not something that they investigate. But oftentimes what we do is, we do major crimes or violent crimes that do happen in these communities. What ends up happening is that we do hear from these families. It's like, why aren't you investigating this missing person? This has happened to my family member here and you're here for this. But why aren't you investigating when they're missing? Why isn't that happening? So, the FBI has recognized that this isn't happening. And so part of my piece is to show that, how can we do this? How can we do a collaboration and close that gap in information? So the big thing is that we can get them connected into those resources by doing these events.
Bił hózhó ńt’éé dóó aa a’ááh nizin ńt’éé. T’áá ‘áłahji ‘ayóo bił héé’jéé yaa ’áhál’yáa ńt’éé. T’áadoo naakijí bilááh yiłkaahó shích’í nahalní ńt’éé. Áko, damóo ‘azlíí, bikée’dó ńdeezid. Áko, ha’át’ííshíí doo shíł ákótéédah nizíí. Shi naaí naagháagi doo shił bééhózin da. Shi naaí la háídza? Bóhósááh.
Salt River High School for the Missing Persons Identification Project di ‘ádei’tii.
Di ‘áłah ‘aleeh éí tááłáí’gíí bíla’ashdláii bódahoohya’iigi da’bík’éí baa hoo’a’, tááłáí’gíí haz’áágo, siláoo bí naltsóos hadédiiłíído, DNA niidédiiyííáahdo, dóó naltsóos binahjí’ bí dóó bík’éí chodao’ółíídoo’gíí hóló do.
Nanish bee nahat’a’ dóó kintáhgó ‘ahił nda’anishgo ayóó ílí, ‘akót’éego FBI Phoenix éí k’ad tááłáí naghái ‘akwíinizingo hoolzhiish.
T’áá’íiyisíí kintáhgó ndahaz’áánigii ba’daííníígli, kodi
nihá ndeiilnish, ts’idá hait’aó éí nda’iilkaah, nda’iilkaahgo nizaadgoo ‘ahoolzhiish akondi ła banáhoodootał éí biniiyé akóté.
Di éí bíla’ashdláii bódahoohya’iigi da’bík’éí nihaa’hodókááh biniiyé adóó bódahoohya’iigi bízhi naltsoos dabikáágo nihee hóló. Áko, nehekáahii yá’á’téh daabídíídiiniił, adóó ‘aláaji’ naltsoos baháádadiidiil’nííł. Dí ‘aláaji’ naltsoos éí tááłáí’gíí bódahoohya’iigi bahané bikáá’gíí bik’eda’ashchí dóóléł. Éí naltsoos ‘ał’aa siláoo bitaa’naniih adóó t’ááłá’í ní’ánígo báá’hííkáhgo, iłééhozin hadanítá, bódahoohya’iigi bík’éí biłhódoonih biniiyé.
T’áásáhí, victim specialist t’éiyá bił, t’ááłá’í ní’ánígo bahané bił nahaz’ánígo hadidóó’ásh. Éí ‘ałtsó’go, kintáhgo doo’ash, t’áá‘łtso binahjí’ chodao’ółíídoo’gíí bichii, ani naalzhó bikah, crime victim compensation biniiyé naltsoos haidiidoolííł tádóó daagó. Adóó civil issues dédinóół’ííł, ła daats’í yindaadóólnish éí doodaii’ civil options daats’í ałdo.
Washingdóón baa dáiiníísh bił nahaz’áágo bił dááhóné dóléł éí hwiinidzin. Áł’aa d’oone’é éí ‘ahił nda’anishgó deinízin. ‘Akót’éego ‘ahił nda’anishgó deinízin. ‘Ał’aa dáiinííshgó binahjí hóné nibéédahwiiziihgo deinízin bíghan dóó ba’áłchíni baa.
Áko, dí ‘áłah ‘aleeh kintáhgó bił nahoo’a’go, adóó ‘ał’aa siláoo dóó áł’aa d’oone’é ‘ałah nadleehgo, hóné doo bich’i nahwii’nklahdah dóléł dóó hóghándi nahaló hóné hadéidínóotaał.
Dijí biká dínísh’íígo hodíina’. Shíchi dah’hólné dóó dí gi’at’áo ‘áłah ‘aleeh dashidiiniid, dóó bineeshdlííd, kád haishíí yaa ákóniizii la nizíí. Siláoo bił nídahwiilni ndi, doo éí ayóó nihaa
‘adáhályádaa dóó doo ayóó ‘ádáát’iida nisiin n’tee.
Áko, dííjí éí ha’át’ííshii łahódooníł niizíí.
Bíla’ashdláii bódahoohyaago ndaalkaahiigi éí doo t’áá’íiyisíí FBI bídéét’i’dah, éí doo ndééł’kaahdah. Ákóndi, kintáhgó, t’áá’ahááh, tsídi ‘aláaahdi bee haz’áanii k’ííhéti’góó dóó ts’ííd ‘adahoonííłígíí éí ndééł’kaahdah.
Adóó bikée’di a’ke dóó a’ałchíni nihichi dahalni’. Ha’át’íísha’ biniinaa doo dí bíla’ashdláii bóhoohyaa’iigi baa nda’óólkaahdah? Shi k’é kóbidíílyaago adóó dí biniiyé kodi naniná.
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