FARGO, N.D. Fargo resident, Ruth Buffalo, is hundreds of miles from her tribe. She’s part of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, in the New Town area of North Dakota. But a missing member is close to her heart.
“Olivia Lone Bear went missing October 24th and she is still missing…her family is well-known throughout the community in being good people and giving back to the community,” Buffalo said.
That’s why local tribe members like her are working on bringing supplies to the 32-year-old mother of five’s family.
A supplies drive held at Fargo’s Red Raven from now until Friday will aid the search for Lone Bear.
Her family’s been searching since her Oct. 24 disappearance—and the weather’s only getting worse.
“In Western North Dakota, it snowed this morning and the water is starting to freeze, it’s about 21 degrees out there currently,” Buffalo said.
Making it harder to search in and out of the water.
“We have to keep in mind,” Buffalo said, “the Fort Berthold Reservation is a large area to cover, there’s ravines…we have the badlands, we have the Missouri River, we have buttes, it’s a lot more area to cover.”
A million acres, to be more specific. So they’re using drones to help cover more ground in their search.
Olivia’s Lone Bear’s brother, Matthew, says in the past weekend, several volunteers helped out with drones. But depending on who is helping, drones along with ATVs and other supplies, are needed.
Matthew Lone Bear says very little is known about his sister’s disappearance, but she was last seen in a truck she would often borrow: a blue granite 2011 Chevy Silverado.
Video surveillance last shows her coming out of the New Town, ND Sportsman’s Bar on Oct. 24. Earlier reports say police suspect no foul play in lone bear’s disappearance. But Matthew Lone Bear’s not convinced.
“One thing you gotta consider in this is,” he said, “we’re right in the middle of the Bakken, and we’re on a reservation. There’s so many people that think they can come on the reservation and and do whatever the heck they want because they can’t be prosecuted. And so there’s a lot of people that run around here high and mighty.”
Matthew himself worked on the Bakken oil field for more than six years.
“There’s so many different things that go on here, you know, when the Bakken came up, the serious crime rate went up in the area—drug charges, alcohol abuse and all these other different things kept popping up now.”
But Fargo resident and fellow tribe member, Ruth Buffalo, says they’re still holding out hope that Olivia Lone bear is alive.
“The family has been searching diligently since October 24th and fatigue is setting in,” she said.
Which is why, she says, even more than supplies—able volunteers are needed.
A $10,000 dollar reward is being offered for information leading to her discovery. Anyone with information can call the tribal police tip line at 701-627-6141.
(This story has not been edited and ran originally here.)