Missing Native American woman’s photo to be featured on WSP-sponsored Homeward Bound Truck

The photo of Alyssa McLemore, a 21-year-old member of the Aleut tribe from Kent, Washington, who has been missing for 10 years, will be featured on the Washington State Patrol's (WSP) Homeward Bound Truck.

Since 2005, WSP's Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit has been operating the Homeward Bound Program, which has featured posters of 28 missing individuals displayed on the side of semi-trailers traveling around the country. Three of those individuals have been recovered.

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, who prime-sponsored legislation in both 2018 and 2019 to help identify and find missing and murdered indigenous people, praised the program.

“Anything that can be done to provide greater awareness is another positive step toward finding these missing people. These enormous photos on the side of semi-trucks will be seen by thousands of motorists on our highways. All that is needed is for someone to recognize the missing individual and where they saw that person last, and make a phone call to help further and, hopefully complete the investigation,” said Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale. “I appreciate the work of Captain Monica Alexander and the entire State Patrol in helping to shine a spotlight on this.”

According to the Washington State Patrol, the program was originally started by the late WSP Trooper Renee Padgett, with a vision that posters of missing children displayed on the side of semi-trailers could increase awareness and aid in recovery. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in six children are recovered due to the public viewing of a photo.

A report released by the Washington State Patrol on June 3 reveal there are 1,802 missing persons in Washington state, 56 of them Native American women,

“Ours is the first state in the nation to get that evidence-based number, lower than the reality because of under-reporting,” said Mosbrucker. “It shows how it must be a priority for the state to put more resources toward finding missing indigenous women. I'm pleased WSP has extended the Homeward Bound Truck program toward helping find these missing people.”

McLemore's family learned she had gone missing after Kent police showed up at her grandmother's house on April 9, 2009 and said they'd received a 911 call from the young woman, who had asked for help before her phone went dead.

WSP unveiled the new Homeward Bound truck with McLemore's photo on June 5 in front of the state Capitol building. Her family and tribal representatives were present. The program is working with Kam-Way Transportation, based in Blaine, Washington, to display photos of missing individuals on their trucks.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov