Click HERE to listen to a livestream of the hearing, set to begin at 12:30pm MST

U.S. SENATE —  The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a hearing today on the issue of missing and murdered persons in Indian country. The announcement comes after Montana Senator Steve Daines sent a letter to Committee leadership requesting a hearing.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines

“We face tragedies from across Montana where tribal citizens, particularly women and girls, go missing without a trace,” Daines said. “We must do all in our power to curb the crisis of American Indians and Alaska Natives who disappear and whose cases never see justice. I’m glad to see that the committee is treating this issue with the seriousness it deserves."

Kimberly Loring HeavyRunner is the sister of Ashley Loring HeavyRunner who disappeared in June 2017 from the Blackfeet Reservation, will testify at the hearing.

Ashley Loring, a 20-year-old woman from Browning was last seen on Monday, June 5, with friends in the St. Mary's area.  Kimberly and her family have expressed frustration with tribal and federal law enforcement while continuing to search for Ashley on their own. A $10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to a resolution in her disappearance.

In July of 2017, the Montana Department of Justice reported 72 open cases involving missing women and girls in the state, and 22, or 30% of the cases, were Native American women and girls, who make up just 3.3% of the state population.

In September, Daines sent a letter to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee urging them to hold a hearing on the issue. Senator John Tester had also asked the Committee to investigate the matter.

The hearing will begin at 12:30 PM MT. The hearing will be live streamed HERE.