When Matthew Lone Bear asked Karen Van Fossan if her church in Bismarck could help search for his missing sister, “there was no other answer but yes,” she said.
The minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship helped organize the search here for the truck connected to Olivia Lone Bear's disappearance. Last month, Matthew Lone Bear put out a call for volunteers in Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, Parshall, Stanley, Watford City and Williston to help search parking lots and streets for the teal 2011 Chevrolet Silverado his sister was last seen driving.
Van Fossan said Bismarck volunteers organized a week ago, starting their efforts on Saturday in a 16-section search. About 20 volunteers have helped in Bismarck.
“What we are doing is literally driving up and down, back and forth on every street and checking every street and alleyway in the areas that we sign up for,” she said.
Their efforts were about 50 percent complete as of Wednesday, likely to be completed this weekend.
In looking for the truck, Van Fossan said searchers have encountered vehicles that resemble it, passing that information to Matthew Lone Bear.
“I presume we haven’t found the truck yet,” she said.
Matthew Lone Bear said Mandan is next. Meanwhile, Dickinson searching is done, Fargo volunteers are organizing and two people are signed up in Minot.
Volunteers are still needed in Stanley, Watford City and Williston. Lone Bear said his crew can search Parshall, east of New Town.
Van Fossan said she’ll continue to keep Olivia Lone Bear visible through extending awareness of the PayPal account for volunteer search efforts and displaying a red ribbon on searchers’ vehicles “as a way to communicate to the larger community that we are there for a purpose.”
“And the purpose is to be supportive of Olivia and her family,” Van Fossan said.
Three Affiliated Tribes Police Detective Sam Lincoln said tribal police have nothing new in their efforts.
“We’re still conducting interviews, and the search is ongoing,” he said Thursday.
In December, the Tribal Business Council of the Three Affiliated Tribes passed a resolution authorizing lead investigative responsibility to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Matthew Lone Bear said more information about the BIA’s role would be available Friday.
He also said tribal game and fish officers and MHA Energy continue to search as well while volunteers have pulled back from the field due to the cold.
Searching may also begin in Montana, with searching of Lake Sakakawea to resume when the ice thaws, he said.
"We’re definitely going to get out there," Matthew Lone Bear said.
Olivia Keri Lone Bear, 32, is 5-foot-6, 130 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes and tattoos. She was last seen Oct. 24 driving west on Main Street in New Town in a teal 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, with North Dakota license plate 839 BRC.
Anyone with information related to her disappearance may call 701-627-6141 or 701-627-3617. Volunteers interested in searching North Dakota cities for the truck may call Matthew Lone Bear at 701-595-3114.