Misty Upham: Missing from Washington Found

UPDATE 10/19/14 – Misty’s death has been ruled a homicide.

UPDATE:  10/16/14 –  The body of Misty Upham was found at the bottom of a ravine near the White River by volunteers led by her uncle Robert Upham, “The main thing her family wants people to know is that the Auburn Police Department would not cooperate in looking for Misty,” Tracy Rector a friend told Deadline. “There’s a long history of police harassment and friction between the police and the Muckleshoot community here, and her family feels they dropped the ball and Misty perhaps would have been found if the police had taken it seriously.”

Previous story:  Misty Upham, 32, who was born in Montana and grew up in Seattle, was last seen Oct. 6.  Misty who played a housekeeper in the movie August Osage County, was last seen walking by herself from an apartment in Auburn, Wash. The Police received a suicide call from that apartment, but when the police arrived no one was at the apartment.

Auburn Police Commander Steve Stocker said there has been suicide call to the same apartment four time in the last year.  The family told Stocker that she has been on medication for mental health issues.

Upham received an nomination for her supporting role in the movie, Frozen River, playing the part of Lila Littlewolf.  She was cast as Tina Walsh in the yet unreleased movie, Crawlspace.

Charles Upham, Misty’s dad has released a statement.  For many of missing loved ones the most sobering part is realizing that many times you are on your own to find your missing loved one.  It is not like in the movies where the police force puts out APB’s and police cars are racing up and down the street looking for one person, it is more like the family being asked hours of questions, told not to worry and then sit and wait for something to happen.  Heaven forbid that the missing person goes missing in a town where there is little training, where there is no SAR dogs, where there is an opinion that a missing person will come back when they are ready.

Because of this many people are found days, weeks and even years later, at the bottom of a cliff, or even sitting up with their back to a tree where they died from exposure after being completely lost in the woods.

Some communities take it upon themselves to start searching and this is what is going on with the case of Misty.  But, unfortunately, time is lost between the reporting of a person gone and the effort put into getting a group together to start looking.  

I believe we need the final call on the status of a missing person to be made by a third party that has years of experience and not the local police department.  Letting one person make a judgement call on a missing person is a mistake.  Too many times the call to not look, or wait is clouded by a police department that is understaffed and overworked or just plain uneducated on how to deal with missing person cases. 

Official Press Release from Charles Upham:

“I would like to clarify circumstances regarding Misty’s disappearance. In my opinion the media has spun an inaccurate perspective. So far articles read: Actress stressed over money and career, Father fears suicide. Police reports suggest the Misty packed her bags and left to on her own. The truth is Misty is not stressed over money or career. Her career is going great. As her father I do not fear she committed suicide. I feel that she has been hurt by accident or someone has put her in harms way. I didn’t
appreciate the press release from Auburn PD that she simply packed a bag and left. Now they have the general public thinking that Misty just decided to leave home for awhile. Misty left in a psychotic state of mind with the clothes she had on and her
shoulder bag. All if her clothes and other belonging are still here. This is the first time in 32 years we have lost contact with her and she stopped contact with everyone. This raises a serious red flag for me but apparently law enforcement officials disagree. I
guess high profile individuals disappear without a trace every day of the week around here. Some of the people that met her or worked with her for a few months are weighing in with their own conclusions and people are accepting it as the gospel.They don’t really know her. TMZ called her sister try to get a story and the first thing
they ask is “do you think she is dead?, did she commit suicide?” How insensitive can you be at a time like this. We are heart broken and very frightening that we may never see her again. We are not getting much rest and everyday we have to look at her belonging, the food she cooked still in the fridge, her pets and unanswered social media post just waiting for her to come back and resume where she left off. I invited the media to cover the story for one purpose only, to help get the word out that she is missing and
let people know we need help in finding her. We, her family, have limited resources and we tried to start a fund campaign to generate financial help. We are finding out that process of finding a missing person is both costly and time consuming. But some have ridiculed us for using this tragic event for profit so we pulled the online request. If I had the money I would have hired a private investigator, organize a search team and search dogs on the day she disappeared. Now we have to write another press release and share personal information that Misty would like to keep personal. Here are the facts:  Misty has suffered from mental illness most of her life. With the help of her
medical team and family support she is able to manage it well. She is not a nut case. She is an advocate and supporter for several organizations such as: PETA, Domestic Worker’s Rights, Women’s Rights, LGBT Community and she is a proponent of economic development and self-determination among Native American communities. Her professional accomplishments are a testament to her business sophistication and intellect. When I, her father, suffered a stroke earlier this year Misty moved to Seattle with both her parents to help manage after care and be close to family. We are planning to return to Los Angeles, after I complete my post-stroke treatment, sometime after the new year. When Misty left California state her medical team stopped her treatment and told her to re-establish treatment and medication in
Washington State. This has not been a smooth transition. She cannot get her meds here and was give alternative medication that wasn’t effective enough to deal with her bipolar anxiety disorder. She started to slip into bouts of depression and panic attacks. She tried to compensate by drinking wine to combat the anxiety and I believe that these meds mixed with alcohol would cause psychotic behavior episodes. She would always recover and not remember what happened. She would sometimes threaten to take her own life but would never go through with any if the threats. She has several scars on her wrists where she cut but never enough to cause death or serious
injury. Misty believes that suicide is a sin and in her darker moments she would tell me “Dad, I would never take my own life. But sometimes when I get depressed I feel that death would be better than life. My greatest fear is that you and mom will die before me and I will be all alone in this world. I don’t know how I could face that. I pray that God will take me peacefully in my sleep one day before you and mom take the journey.” Misty has developed a phobia of throwing up. She gets panic attacks whenever she
feel nausa. She never wants to be left alone over this, even for a few minutes. She tells me that she wants to overcome this and become independent again. But this unusual fear keeps her close to home and in constant contact with her parents.  Now we have lost contact. Since her disappearance she has not made contact with any of her family, friends or business constituents. We have requested help from the Muckleshoot tribe for search teams but they do not have funding for that. We are
petitioning Auburn PD to implement the ENDANGERED MISSING PERSONS PLAN. This will allow law enforcement to search for her and bring her intomedical care when they find her. But they feel she does not fit the profile at this time. The detective on the case assured our family that Auburn PD is doing everything they can to find Misty. But then they release a press statement and say they are not looking for her. These mixed messages are confusing. I think Misty may have walked into nearby woods and got hurt and can’t reach help or I think she may have had an encounter with someone who may have caused her harm. I believe she would contact us if she could. I feel that if she is found soon she may have a chance to survive. But time is slipping away.

Message to Misty:

Misty, if you can see this message, we love you and your family will continue to search for you until you are found. Come home please. We thank all her concerned friends
and family for all the kind words, prayers and suggestions.

Misty was last wearing a purple sweater, black t-shirt, grey sweatpants, silver tennis shoes. She has cut her hair short. She has cut scars on both arms and a birth mark on the back near her neck. She was carrying a white cell phone and a California ID.”

About Missing Persons Admin 4523 Articles
Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

2 Comments

  1. I am so confused. I've read 3 different stories about her. Her family has 3 or 4 stories about when she “disappeared.” If she is found deceased, look at them first. Apparently, her dad has a habit of occasionally calling 911 and saying this lady is suicidal. Apparently, they all live together or She has her own place or they live the sister, who knows.