An 18-year-old girl from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation was declared missing Tuesday.
Davalena Buckman-Kelly, who has developmental disabilities, was last seen in Beach, North Dakota around 3 or 4 P.M. Tuesday.
Blaine County Sheriff John Colby says his department is alerting other law enforcement agencies along the routes Kelly could’ve taken.
“Based on what she had told some friends and family is that she’d met a guy online from Chicago and he was coming to see her,” says Colby.
Sheriff Colby says his department has entered photos of Kelly and an African American male at a gas station in Grass Range, Montana into a national database that all law enforcement agencies can access, the Criminal Justice Information Network.
Kelly is 5’8" and approximately 130 pounds.
He says they were spotted in a gray-colored Lincoln with a newer body.
The Blaine County Sheriff’s office is coordinating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Belknap Police Department.
Online, members of the Fort Belknap Daily Herald group on Facebook have speculated that Kelly is a sex-trafficing victim, but Sheriff Colby says:
“At this time, we honestly don’t know if it’s a sex-trafficing thing, or he met her online and they started talking.”
Native people in Montana tend to go missing at rates that outpace their share of the state population. American Indians currently account for about 26 percent of all missing persons cases in the state of Montana while only accounting for 6.6 percent of the state population, according to U.S. Census data from last July.
Anyone with information should call the Fort Belknap Police Department at 406-353-2933.
Olivia Reingold is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America Corps Member.