In Loving Memory
Words from a Friend
In times of our greatest loss we fumble for words to express our emotions,
each one seemingly inadequate to fill the need.
The brevity of this life is inescapable, but when we change out our tears
for gratitude we realize the immense worth of what we have
been given through the life of the one we have lost.
It is our way to want more, to have the goodness go on and on,
but what would our lives have been without the blessings
and the gifts of love that was ours through them.
God in His goodness, has given us a bright light in Denise that shined
for a while, and what a difference it has made.
We will pass this way just once, but in our brief journey we have known
her love and laughter and we have shared some tears. Our lives have been immensely blessed by all she was, and as we breath she lives on inside of us until we meet them once more.
To Denise’s family. I have been with you across the years, I am with you today, and
here for you tomorrow and beyond as you need me.
March 4, 2019 New Mexico and Los Angeles authorities located remains that were later confirmed to be Denise. Our hearts are broken, and we are still seeking answers to the many questions surrounding the circumstances of her death. The only thing authorities can confirm is that she was found on the Pueblo of Acoma.
We all want to know what happened to Denise. Right now, we are expecting a report from the New Mexico Medical Examiner and information about future searches, which may provide some answers.
We will keep you informed.
We are deeply grateful for all of your expressions of love, concern and support since Denise went missing.
Contact The Family
Denise a resident of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, went missing on November 8th 2018 on the Pueblo Acoma in New Mexico. 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.
THE JOURNEY 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 grateful for the law enforcement agencies and dedicated individuals on board who have been fully committed to locating her.
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.