Volunteers searching for a missing New Town woman are pulling back from the field to fan out in quest of the truck she was driving.
Matthew Lone Bear said search efforts for his sister, Olivia, now need volunteers for Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Stanley, Watford City and Williston, where searchers will comb parking lots, wreck yards and auto body shops in a grid-style search.
The decision to pull from the field is mostly for safety reasons, said Lone Bear, adding that snowy searching on the Fort Berthold Reservation has reached 75 percent to 80 percent of the reservation’s area.
“It’s just so cold so we don’t really want people out there at that point anyway,” he said Thursday. “It’s a good day right now, but overall there’s still a lot of snow on the ground yet."
Olivia Lone Bear has been missing for almost three months, last seen driving west on Main Street in New Town after leaving Sportsman’s Bar.
Her brother said the decision to search city locations came from another missing persons case in which he said a missing truck was found in a residential area.
Lone Bear also said searching the cities allows volunteers the comfort of searching from their vehicle rather than on foot in cold weather.
As for other search efforts, an air search is revving up, and tribal game and fish officers have been out every day. After a strained relationship with tribal police early this winter, Matthew Lone Bear said they’re now on a text messaging basis.
“It’s been getting better, definitely,” he said of their communication.
Three Affiliated Tribes Police Detective Sam Lincoln said there’s nothing new regarding the police search.
“Our guys check around and they do their normal routine, but, if tips come in, we look at them,” said Lincoln, who previously reported tribal police have followed and documented hundreds of tips from around the country.
Olivia Lone Bear, 32, has been missing from New Town since Oct. 24. She was driving a metallic gray 2011 Chevrolet Silverado with North Dakota License plate 839BRC.
She is Native American, about 5-foot-6, 130 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and several tattoos. She was wearing a white camouflage jacket and light blue jeans.
Anyone with information related to her disappearance may call 701-627-6141 or 701-627-3617. A $21,000 reward stands for information that leads to her recovery or the conviction of a potential assailant.
Those interested in volunteering to search cities for the truck may call Matthew Lone Bear at 701-595-3114.