WSP locates missing pregnant Indigenous teenager
PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol (WSP) announced that the missing pregnant Indigenous teenager they've been looking for since Monday has been found.
According to the WSP, the 17-year-old was considered at-risk. Prior to being found on Wednesday, troopers were asking the public to keep an eye out for her in the South Hill area of Pierce County.
The WSP's Missing Indigenous Persons Alert (MIPA) was activated on behalf of the Chehalis Tribal Police Department.
Washington has some of the highest case numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous people in the country. New efforts backed by the state to help protect them are showing promising results.
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"With this MIPA alert, information flows within 10 minutes all the way across the country and back, and that gives us opportunities to do other things that we haven’t been able to pay attention to," said Patti Gosch, Washington State Patrol tribal liaison for the west division. "It’s also an opportunity to train people and let them understand that simply being Indigenous and missing is an endangerment."
The Missing Indigenous Person Alert (MIPA) System launched in July 2022, the first of its kind in the United States.