Family Hopes Increase In Reward May Help Locate Missing Montana Woman

Jun 20, 2019

Jermain Austin Charlo has been missing for exactly a year as of Sunday. But her family hopes that answers are on the way. That's because the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recently increased their reward for information on her disapearance.

Charlo's family recently spoke about why they advocated for a $10,000 reward.

Vicki Morigeau has been wondering what happened to her granddaughter for a year now.

"I just don’t understand how people can just disappear and nobody see it," says Morigeau.

She’s hoping that someone knows something, and can be enticed by a $10,000 reward. That is how much money the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council approved for information about Jermain Charlo’s disappearance.

"People don’t want to talk because they’re afraid for themselves or their families. And if they know something, people just don’t come out unless they have a rebound," says Morigeau.

Guy Baker from the Missoula Police Department agrees. He’s the lead detective on the case.

"Because there’s obviously people out there that know what happened to Jermain Charlo and $1,000 might not be enough for them to question their loyalty to keep a secret," says Baker.

But he says $10,000 might be. That’s why he went with Charlo’s family to ask the Tribal Council to increase the reward earlier this month. It was previously set at $1,000.

Baker says he’s interviewed more than 50 people, conducted over a dozen searches, and submitted evidence for investigation to the crime lab. But he’s still trying to figure out what happened to Charlo. She was last seen in downtown Missoula on June 16th last year.

"Most definitely obviously there’s more than a few nights I’m laying in bed looking at the fan wondering what happened to her, so obviously yeah, the 16th of every month doesn’t go by without me thinking about that," says Baker.

But now—hope. Baker says that three or four people have already called in with tips since the reward was announced last week.