“The problem is all the dead ends, and we don’t know who to ask,” said Kimberly Loring, 23-year-old sister of Ashley Loring Heavy Runner. Missing since June 5 and last seen in the St. Mary area, 20-year-old Ashley has inspired local people, volunteers and law enforcement to come out and find her.
“A task force has been assembled for a search party,” said Josh Bird of Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services (BLES), “and they’ve been all over the reservation, north and south and west. Special Agent Kyle Sinclair is heading up the operation at the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”
Sinclair declined to comment on the case and said any information would have to come from his superiors in Billings, who then said it would be up to Nedra Darling, Public Affairs Director for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. She did not respond to a request for information about the case.
“They’ve conducted many interviews,” Bird continued, “and they’ve followed all the leads, but they’ve all been dead ends. There’s been lots of searching at Babb-St. Mary, and all the leads we get are being followed until they either reach a dead end or produce results.”
In addition to official investigations, family members and local volunteers are doing their part. “We’ve got friends who are doing fliers in Canada, and we’ve checked at the border, but so far we haven’t got anything,” Kimberly said.
Skye Gilham, manager of Browning’s Radio Shack, joined a group of volunteer searchers last weekend. “Recently, a group of about 10 of us on ATVs searched Saturday, July 29, in the Babb-St. Mary area,” she said. “We were all volunteers that met with some of the family, then took off in different directions. Additional volunteer groups have searched other areas of the reservation, and many of us plan to continue to do so until Ashley is found. Terrain and weather have made it difficult, as well as the vast expanse of the area that we would like to cover. Anyone that would like to volunteer to help should keep an eye out on Facebook for organized meeting times to go out and search. Even observing any areas where you frequent recreationally is helpful. Of course, if anything suspicious is found, please contact the local law enforcement to investigate further to avoid contaminating any evidence.”
Ashley Loring Heavy Runner is about five feet two inches tall, weighs around 90 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. She was last seen wearing a t-shirt and jeans. If anyone has any information that might help the investigation, please contact BLES at 338-4000.