Albuquerque, NM – On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, the Bureau of Indian Affairs-Missing and Murdered Unit, assisted by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force, the BIA Law Enforcement Direct Service, other Tribal Law Enforcement agencies and the United States Marshals Service located and safely recovered two missing juvenile girls.
In early August 2023, the United States Marshals Service began working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to look for two missing juveniles, who had been reported missing July 2023. Both juveniles are members of one of New Mexico’s Pueblo communities. During the investigation, evidence showed the possibility the young girls may be trafficked.
“When situations involving missing children arise, they quickly become our top priority,” said Sonya K. Chavez, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Mexico. “Our joint efforts to locate these missing girls had a positive ending by bringing the young girls to safety and ties into our commitment to find missing and indigenous women who have been lost or victimized in our communities.” she added.
“The BIA Office of Justice Services and Missing and Murdered Unit (MMU) appreciate the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Marshalls and our Tribal and state law enforcement partners in this case,” said BIA Deputy Bureau Director Richard “Glen” Melville. “Interagency collaboration is critical as we work to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis.”
To report a Missing and Murdered Referral:
MMU Website: https://www.bia.gov/bia/ojs/missing-murdered-unit
MMU Hotline: 1-833-560-2065
Tip Line: Text Keyword BIAMMU to 847411
The U.S. Marshals Service has located hundreds of missing children since the initiation of its Missing Children’s Unit several years ago. The Justice for Juvenile Victims of Trafficking Act was enacted by Congress in 2015. This gave the Marshals Service authority to locate missing children, regardless of whether there is a fugitive nexus. The mission of the Missing Children’s Unit is to develop, implement and oversee a comprehensive nationwide missing child investigative program, utilizing all available USMS investigative resources and disciplines in coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. MCU provides program development, review, and refinement with the ultimate goal of assisting federal, state and local partners to recover as many missing children as possible in the interest of public safety.
Anyone with information on wanted fugitives is urged to contact the nearest U.S. Marshals office, the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102 or the USMS Tips App.