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Volunteers collaborate with law enforcement in search for missing Standing Rock woman

Volunteers collaborate with law enforcement in search for missing Standing Rock woman

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Kara Lynn Mauai

Kara Lynn Mauai

Horseback riders joined other volunteers and law enforcement Monday to help continue the search for a missing woman on the Standing Rock Reservation.

Kara Lynn Mauai, 30, of Fort Yates, was last seen in the Selfridge area on Nov. 8. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance and whether a crime might be involved weren't clear. Sheridan McNeil, a family spokeswoman, declined to discuss circumstances.

A search of Selfridge and its outlying areas Saturday drew the help of more than 30 volunteers but did not result in any leads or signs of Mauai, according to McNeil.

Monday's search centered on the Porcupine area. Volunteers on horseback searched areas hard to reach on foot between Selfridge and Porcupine, a distance of about 20 miles.

The search party formed after concerned community members met with Mauai's family on New Year's Day to offer help. Shortly after, the family met with tribal officials, BIA Police Chief Sparky Edwards and Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis, along with a representative from the state's Indian Affairs Commission by phone, to talk about what to do next.

"Everyone kind of gave us the thumbs up to do this organized and collaborative search," McNeil said.

Elliot Ward, emergency manager for Standing Rock, has been heading up the search and is providing training on search techniques and protocols for volunteers before they go out.

Neither McNeil nor BIA officials would comment on whether foul play is suspected in Mauai's disappearance.

Mauai is described as a 5-foot-2-inch, 130-pound Native American woman with brown eyes and dark curly hair. She has a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist and the name "Ikaika" on her right. The mother of three is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

A Facebook page titled "Bring Kara Home" with more than 1,300 followers is the official page being used by the family to share information about Mauai and the search, McNeil said.

Anyone with any information on Mauai's disappearance or whereabouts is asked to contact BIA police at (701) 854-7241.

Reach Bilal Suleiman at 701-250-8261 or Bilal.Suleiman@bismarcktribune.com

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