Gov. Stitt signs into law bill aimed at helping solve cases of missing and murdered indigenous persons

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Update 5.4.21: Sierra Hunter has been found safe in Texas according to her sister. No other details have been released.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill aimed at helping solve cases of missing and murdered indigenous persons was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the family of a missing, indigenous Anadarko woman is seeking answers.

“She just disappeared,” Chelsey Hunter told KFOR on Tuesday.

Hunter is talking about her 19-year-old sister, Sierra Hunter, who disappeared back on April 3rd.

“We’re terrified and we just want her home,” she said.

Hunter said the last time she heard from Sierra, it was back on April 8th when she received a horrifying phone call from her.

“She started screaming,” said Hunter. “She just said ‘everything will be okay, I love you’ and the phone just disconnected.”

Photo goes with story
Sierra Hunter

Chelsey told KFOR she reported it to Andarko police and that phone number was traced to a man in Austin, Texas.

“He is a two-time sex offender, long list of felonies,” said Hunter. “On Saturday night, the Austin Police Department had called and said that homicide detectives are now investigating it.”

However, KFOR contacted Austin police and officials from APD sent the following statement:

“We have an active missing adult case that we are currently investigating. We are not investigating this case as a homicide as we do not have any credible information to suggest a homicide. Sierra Hunter was last known to be in the Austin area. Due to the fact that she was able to travel a considerable distance it’s possible she is no longer in the Austin area. Detectives are in the field as we speak actively investigating.”

AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON

On Tuesday, Stitt signed Senate Bill 172, Ida’s Law, into law.

The bill allows the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to coordinate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain federal funding and coordinate efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered indigenous persons in Oklahoma.

The measure is named after 29-year-old Ida Beard from El Reno, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, who went missing in 2015 and has never been found.

“Excited to get that across the finish line. They’ve been working on it for a couple years,” Stitt said. “It’s just an important piece of legislation.” ​

The bill takes effect on November 1st.

However, Hunter is hoping for some answers long before that date.

“She is in danger and there was something wrong whenever she called me,” she said.

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