As winter begins to settle in, Matthew Lone Bear says his family will continue to search for his missing sister.
“We’ve been lucky enough that there’s not very much accumulation here on Fort Berthold,” he said Sunday. “Regardless, we’re going to keep searching. That’s the game plan. We don’t plan on stopping.”
His sister, Olivia Lone Bear, has been missing from New Town since Oct. 24. Her disappearance has generated a far-reaching response, with searchers and law enforcement coming from across North Dakota and as far away as Montana and Wisconsin.
Joe Greywind and Norberta LaFontaine-Greywind, parents of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, joined the Lone Bears in their search over the weekend. Their daughter went missing last August while eight months pregnant. Her body was found eight days later.
“There’s a lot of land, water out there that needs to be searched, and our hope being here today is to bring Olivia home to her family,” Norberta LaFontaine-Greywind said at a press conference Saturday.
“We’ve been there. We know how hard it is go through this.” Lissa Yellow Bird-Chase, an advocate and searcher for missing and murdered persons, stressed the importance and urgency of a loved one’s disappearance.
“For North Dakota, we’re struggling right now when it comes to caring and concerning about our fellow human beings,” she said Saturday. “Everyone needs to stand together by spreading the word, by keeping these missing people on the front of your speech every day.”
Matthew Lone Bear said his family’s relationship with tribal police in searching for his sister has been strained. No organized search began until Nov. 1, and he said his family has tried to maintain a civil accord with Three Affiliated Tribes police despite tension over the search and resources.
Efforts to reach tribal police were unsuccessful Sunday.
Some resources have come from far corners. Bruce’s Legacy, a Wisconsin-based recovery operation for drowned persons, spent two days searching a bay on Lake Sakakawea.
“He did a good job for us,” Matthew Lone Bear said; however, other water areas remain to be searched.
Governor’s spokesman Mike Nowatzki said the North Dakota State & Local Intelligence Center has stepped in to analyze phone data and to construct a timeline of events in the case.
Local fire departments and surrounding sheriff’s departments have also lent their hands in searching. Matthew Lone Bear said about 35 volunteers were helping search on Sunday. Volunteers meet every day at 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the MHA & TERO Energy Complex at New Town.
A $10,000 reward from the Lone Bear family stands for any information leading to Olivia Lone Bear’s return or the arrest of a potential assailant.
“We’re not going to quit,” her father, Texx Lone Bear, said Saturday. “Whatever it takes, we’re going to bring her home.”
Olivia Keri Lone Bear, 32, is Native American, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen the evening of Oct. 24 leaving Sportsman’s Bar in New Town, driving a blue granite 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 with an extended cab, silver toolbox and North Dakota license plate 839 BRC. She was wearing a white camouflage jacket with black arm stripes and light blue jeans.
Anyone with information about her disappearance may call a tip line at 701-627-6141 or 701-627-3617.
(This story has not been edited and ran originally here.)