TOPPENISH, Wash. — The mother of a woman reported missing since Aug. 8 confirmed her daughter was found safe Thursday.
Larise Deon Sohappy, 34, a mother of two and an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation who has lived in Yakima for the past several years, was found in Toppenish around 9 a.m. and is home with her mother.
“She was found in good health, and you don’t know what a relief it is,” Julie Sohappy said. “When I saw her, I could have just fallen to my knees and thanked the Lord.
“I hugged her and told her I loved her. It was so wonderful to hold her.”
Her daughter had been staying with a friend and didn’t have access to a phone or Internet, her mother said. When news of Larise being missing spread Wednesday through social media and a flyer, her family received information about where she had been seen.
That led to another lead, Julie Sohappy said. “And then with the assistance of the (Yakama Nation Tribal Police), we were able to find the friend she was with and were able to talk with her,” she said.
“She had no idea; she thought everything was OK. It was sort of a shock to her to see that poster. In your mind you’re OK, but then you see a picture and (the word) missing, and she had no idea. It was a shock.”
According to the flyer shared widely online and on social media Wednesday, Larise Sohappy was last seen Aug. 8 near the Yakama Indian Health Service clinic at 401 Buster Road with an unknown male.
She had been living at a home in Yakima for about eight years, but her mother said Wednesday that the home “is not a place to be living; there’s no electricity and no water.”
Larise will be staying with her mother, who has been caring for her two children for about a year.
“We’re going to follow up with things that need to be followed up with. ... just try to help each other to get through day-to-day life issues,” Julie Sohappy said.
“Sometimes life can get overwhelming and when you don’t share what’s in your heart and you let it build up and built up, that tends to wear on you,” she added.
“If you don’t share what’s in your heart and what’s troubling you, you can’t get help if you don’t ask for it. You can’t receive love if you don’t love yourself.”
She is thankful for the media, family and friends who spread the word and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women program.
That’s especially precious for a mother and family members amid news of so many indigenous women and men reported missing and found murdered, Julie Sohappy said.
“I’m just relieved. I’m very relieved,” she said.