Denise Coultas-Parker, a resident of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, remains missing on the Pueblo Acoma. The Pueblo is Native American tribal sovereign land located in a desolate area of New Mexico, where temperatures plunge to sub-zero at night. The critical window to successfully locate and rescue a missing person is 24 to 72 hours after they go missing. However, laws governing tribal lands do not grant US authorities jurisdiction to pursue individuals who cross over into sovereign land.
US authorities were not able to launch the necessary comprehensive search and rescue mission for Denise until 58 days after she went missing.
CURRENT STATUS ON EFFORTS TO BRING DENISE HOME
Mid December - After being contacted by Denise's family and friends Congressman Adam Schiff’s office contacted the Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A.) in Washington requesting they intervene on behalf of our family to facilitate a comprehensive search and rescue effort. The B.I.A is the federal governing body over Indian affairs, and with the authority to negotiate with tribal leaders and law enforcement.
B.I.A. involvement resulted in the organization of a comprehensive multi-jurisdictional search on January 6th, 2019. The search consisted of approximately 100 people and included the B.I.A., New Mexico State Search and Rescue, Laguna and Acoma Rangers, and the LAPD. Together they covered 80% of the search area. Their tools included: horses, dogs, ten drones and ATV's.
The remaining 20% could not be searched because of snow and ice. Based on the updates from the B.I.A and the LAPD we feel confident authorities searched for Denise to the best of their ability in the current weather conditions. Snow made it impossible to safely search in all of the area's where she could be and they will not be able to until the snow melts. Specifically, caves and crevasses including ones created by tree root systems and the mesas.
We are confident finding Denise is a priority for law enforcement from Los Angeles to Washington DC. We will bring her home!
We are grateful for the law enforcement agencies and dedicated individuals who have come on board fully committed to locating her! Yes, it’s late. Yes, the search was slow in coming and we will address these issues after Denise is located.
We are so appreciative for the unrelenting support of our family and friends!
What all of you have done to help get the word out, and the actions you have taken to help locate Denise, have been phenomenal.
We are so grateful, and we will keep everyone posted.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION PLEASE CALL LAPD Missing Persons Detective Morales 1(213) 996-1800
There are more than 56 million acres of Native American (Sovereign) Land in the United States. In a large portion of this, the US government has no more legal jurisdiction or rights than it has in foreign countries.
Did you know that you're not guaranteed the right to search and rescue, or recovery, if your loved one is missing on sovereign land, even when a crime has taken place?
We didn't. Not until our loved one pulled off Hwy 40 in New Mexico - possibly to look at the beautiful open landscape – only to disappear where temperatures drop below 30 degrees at night. Despite this, US law enforcement did nothing to locate her in the critical 42-72 hour window and has yet to carry out a comprehensive land search to locate or recover her.