Tester Urges FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs to Expedite Search for Selena Not Afraid

16-year-old has been missing since January 1

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to expedite their efforts to find Selena Not Afraid, who went missing on January 1, 2020 near a rest stop on Interstate 90 between Billings and Hardin.

“I appreciate your offices’ immediate response to my requests to prioritize this deeply troubling situation,” Tester wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and BIA Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney. “Selena Not Afraid went missing near a rest stop on Interstate 90 between Billings and Hardin on January 1, 2020. It is critically important that your agencies commit all available resources to Selena’s case to ensure she is found and reunited with her family. I respectfully request an update to ensure Selena’s family and the local communities are aware of where this investigation stands.

“The FBI and BIA are two of our nation’s top investigative and law enforcement agencies. I urge you to focus all available resources on this case and provide any support you can for her family. I look forward to your response and stand ready to assist you in this effort.”

As a member and former chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Tester has led the charge to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis. Two Tester-backed bills to improve public safety in Indian Country were recently approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and he has worked to hold both Director Wray and Attorney General William Barr accountable for failing to address Montana’s public safety needs and neglecting to address the MMIW crisis, human trafficking, and methamphetamine use. Senator Tester has urged the FBI to swiftly respond to all MMIW cases, including those that occur outside of a reservation.

Tester has also called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Leadership to bring up and pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 to ensure that Tribes have the authority to bring perpetrators to justice and provide survivors with the resources they need.

Full text of Tester’s letter is available HERE.