Murdered, missing and mysterious deaths of Native girls and women on or near the Yakama Reservation and in urban areas:
This list, compiled from Yakima Herald-Republic archives, law enforcement, online and social media sources, is not complete. Email Tammy Ayer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have filed a report with a law enforcement agency about a missing person and want to add your loved one to this list, or would like to add other information.
• Rosalita “Rose” Longee, 18, went missing from Wapato on June 30, 2015, notes information at The Charley Project website, http://charleyproject.org. The Charley Project, founded in 2004, has details on hundreds of missing persons cases from throughout the county. Longee left her residence after an argument and has never been heard from again, according to the website.
• Roberta Jean Raines, 37, was last seen in 2001 with a man who has told authorities that he last saw her in Mexico. Her missing person case remains open with the Toppenish Police Department.
• Daisy Mae Heath, 29, was reported missing on Oct. 29, 1987, and seven years later was presumed dead by the Yakima County Coroner’s Office. Her backpack and keys were found out by Soda Springs, on land northwest of White Swan in a closed, remote area of the reservation. Her NamUS case notes that Daisy was last seen around the end of August 1987. The FBI has previously referred to her as Daisey Mae Tallman.
• Karen Louise Johnley, 29, was reported missing in November 1987. Her name was on a reward list circulated by a local group called Yakamas for Justice and by tribal police. She was last seen by a friend at the Lazy R Tavern in Harrah.
• Janice Hannigan, 16, went missing after she was discharged from the hospital on Christmas Eve 1971 for treatment of numerous bruises on her head and chest. See her case at The Charley Project here.
• Echo Kay Littlewolf, 31. Her mother, Jeanette Osborn, found Littlewolf's remains in a field outside Wapato on Aug. 15, 2017. Littlewolf had camped there off and on for a few years and had not been seen by family who lived nearby for a week. While the Yakima County Coroner’s Office listed Littlewolf's manner of death as natural, her mother still questions how she died.
• Skeletal remains found in late 2008 in a remote part of the Yakama Reservation. The FBI Seattle office mentioned the remains in early May 2009, when announcing the results of the FBI's approximately two-year-long analysis of reservation deaths that followed a March 2006 meeting with then-United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on the reservation. In early May 2009, Special Agents were awaiting mitochondrial DNA test results on those remains, which they said then might be those of Daisey Mae Tallman. But the FBI lab determined there was insufficient evidence to conclude the remains were hers, and the FBI will not release further information on the remains.
• Alice Ida Looney, 38. She was reported missing on Aug. 16, 2004. A hunter found her body Nov. 30, 2005, wedged under a tree on a small island in Satus Creek, about 12 miles southwest of Toppenish.
• Teresa R. Stahi, 25. Her clothed body was pulled from a fish screen in a diversion canal off Toppenish Creek south of Granger on July 7, 1987. An autopsy concluded she drowned and had been in the water less than 12 hours. The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office said it ruled out foul play. However, an FBI memo listed Stahi’s case as a “mysterious death matter.”
• Sarah Dee Winnier, 24. She was found at 3:30 a.m. July 22, 1985, sitting upright in the driver’s seat of a burning car off McDonald Road about half a mile from Highway 97. Her body was badly burned and the coroner used dental records to identify her. Winnier lived in a remote part of the reservation and had worked at the Save More Grocery in Wapato after moving back to the area from California.
• Celestine Spencer, 21, of Wapato. Spencer went missing for about two weeks before her body was found Nov. 11, 1982, at the bottom of a gully in a field off McCullough Road along the north slope of Ahtanum Ridge.
• Lesora Yvette Eli, 19. A farmer found her fully clothed body face down in a drainage ditch along Parton Road near Toppenish on Feb. 2, 1982. While the Yakima County Coroner’s Office listed the death as accidental drowning, FBI investigators in a memo that year described it as a possible homicide.
• Sheila Pearl Lewis, 33, of Yakima. Her body was found Aug. 3, 1980, near Parker Dam south of Union Gap. She died of massive internal injuries, possibly as a result of being hit by a car or truck. She had been living in Yakima and worked for the state Department of Social and Health Services.
• Angela Marie Heath, 41, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as she tried to cross the street in the intersection of U.S. 97 and South Wapato Road about 11:30 p.m. on April 5, 2019. Washington State Patrol is investigating.
• Rosenda Strong, 31, disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018, after getting a ride to Legends Casino just a few miles from her home. She was last seen at the casino. Her remains were found July 4 in an abandoned freezer outside Toppenish. Anyone with information is asked to call the Yakama Nation Police Department at 509-865-2933 or the FBI at 509-990-0857 regarding case number 18-010803.
• Destiny Louise Lloyd, 23, of Wapato. She was reported missing on Christmas Day 2017 and her body was found four days later off Marion Drain Road near Harrah Road south of Harrah.
• Minnie Andy, 31, of Wapato. Andy died from blunt force trauma to the head in July 2017 after being assaulted at 70 Egan Road in Wapato.
• Linda Dave, 39. Dave’s body was discovered in February 2017 in the water beneath a bridge on U.S. Highway 97 near Toppenish. She had suffered a gunshot wound to her abdomen. Authorities confirmed her identity in March 2018.
• Naoma Alexandra George, 33. A mother of eight, George was beaten to death in an alley in Wapato early on Oct. 15, 2013.
• Charmaine Sanchey, 47; Toni Marie Green, 43, and Steve Alvarado, 52. Their beaten and stabbed bodies were found in a small trailer outside Toppenish on Jan. 16, 2003. Charmaine Sanchey’s brother, Arthur Joseph Sanchey, was the primary suspect, but was acquitted of charges in July 2004.
• Barbara Celestine, 44. Celestine died Sept. 5, 2005, from blunt trauma to the head while at a house in the Apas Goudy housing project in Wapato.
• Shari Dee Sampson Elwell, 30, of Wapato. Her sexually mutilated body was found Dec. 30, 1992, by a group of hunters northwest of White Swan in the closed and remote area of the Yakama reservation. Autopsy reports indicate she had been strangled. Elwell’s family reported not seeing her for weeks.
• JoAnne Betty (Wyman) John, 44, of Wapato. Her skull and bone fragments were found Feb. 2, 1991, near Mill Creek southwest of White Swan. She was identified through dental records. The mother of 11 children, she had been listed as missing since Aug. 1, 1988. She was last seen at a tavern in Brownstown. Coroner’s records list cause of death as “homicidal violence.”
• Rozelia Lou (Tulee) Sohappy, 31, of Brownstown. Her partially clothed body was found March 13, 1989, in a remote ravine along the south slope of Ahtanum Ridge north of Brownstown. She was identified through dental records, and an autopsy concluded she had been strangled. She was last seen New Year’s Eve 1988.
• Skeletal remains of an unidentified Native woman believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s. The remains were found Feb. 16, 1988, near Parker Dam. No cause of death has ever been determined, but the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office considers it a homicide and has requested that her remains be exhumed for possible identification.
• Jenece Marie Wilson, 20, of Toppenish. Her partially clothed body was found Aug. 8, 1987, in a remote area near Cherry Hill. She died of a severe blow to the head. She was last seen four days earlier leaving a party near Granger to hitchhike to Sunnyside. Samuel Posada of Hermiston, Ore., was arrested in 2009 and was acquitted in late 2011.
• Babette Crystall Greene, 26, of Toppenish. A member of the Warm Springs tribe in Oregon, her skeletal remains were found during the summer of 1987 off North Track Road near Wapato. Coroner’s records listed her death as “homicidal violence.”
• Clydell Alice Sampson, 25, of Klickitat. Her skeletal remains were found by hunters Dec. 28, 1986, below Hambre Butte south of Granger. An autopsy conducted by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died of a shotgun blast to the head. She was last seen two years earlier.
• Mavis Josephine McKay, 33, a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. She was found murdered in an irrigation ditch on Aug. 13, 1957, in Satus.
Yakamas in urban areas
• Sandra Lee Smiscon, 45, died of gunshot wounds in 2003 in Seattle when a man apparently angered after someone nearby set off firecrackers pulled out his gun and fired, then walked away. She lived in and traveled between Seattle and Wapato. Those with any information about her murder should call the Seattle Police Department homicide tip line at 206-233-5000.
In the court system
• Maria Martinez, 50, and Shante Barney, 23, were stabbed to death on April 9 in a trailer home near Brownstown. Edward Charles Robinson has been charged in federal court with with two counts of first-degree murder and a single count of assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with deaths of his mother and sister-in-law.
• Alillia “Lala” Minthorn, 25, was last seen in Toppenish in early May 2019. Her body was found May 29 in a remote location on Ahtanum Ridge north of Brownstown, where a witness had told investigators she was shot May 3. Jordan Everett Stevens, 29, was indicted in her murder and faces trial in Sept. 8, 2020 in U.S. District Court in Yakima.
• Catherine Eneas-Squeochs, 49, was among five people shot to death in the 5100 block of Medicine Valley Road in White Swan on June 8, 2019. James Dean Cloud was indicted on first-degree murder charges in February in U.S. District Court. He and another man, Donovan Quinn Carter Cloud, face several federal charges.
• Gail Teo, 63, of White Swan was found dead in her home on the evening of Aug. 7, 2019. She was wrapped in plastic and a rug, with stab wounds to her neck and a gunshot wound in her back, according to court documents. Security video from her home showed a man later identified as Michael Anthony Davis, 26, confront Teo inside the house hours earlier and attack her with what appeared to be pruning shears, court documents said. Davis is charged with aggravated first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary in Yakima County Superior Court with trial set for November 2020.
Closed in the court system
• Felina Blanch Metsker, 33, was reported missing on April 1, 2016. The former White Swan resident was staying on Barkes Road near Harrah at the time. Searchers found remains of an adult female in a remote area south of White Swan on May 5, 2016. They were identified as Metsker’s about a year later. George Cloud was found guilty by a federal jury in January 2019 of first-degree murder and using a firearm in a violent crime in connection with Metsker’s death. He was sentenced in May 2019 to life without parole. Sisters Nicole Lee Sunny Cloud and Kristen Ashlie Windy Cloud each pleaded guilty to one count of misprison of felony in the case and were sentenced.
• Barbara Jean Whitesell, 19, was raped and strangled near Troutdale, Ore., on July 13, 1990. Marcus William Blalock, 19, and another young man were arrested; charges against the other man were later dropped. Blalock was sentenced in October 1991 and is serving a life term at Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla, Ore.
• Rose Lonewarrior Rodriguez Sanchez, 26, was stabbed to death by her boyfriend, Ignacio Serrano Casares, in Yakima on Palm Sunday 1980. He was convicted in January 1998 and sentenced that May. He died of natural causes.