Office of the Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives
The Office of of the Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (OMMIR) is a newly created office established in 2022 through Senate Bill 22-150.
SB22-150 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives established the Office of Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (OMMIR) in the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
CRS § 24-33.5-2603 The office shall serve as a liaison on behalf of the indigenous community on issues related to missing or murdered indigenous relatives, support the advisory board created in subsection (4) of this section, and carry out any duties assigned by the executive director. In carrying out its duties, the office shall collaborate with any relevant entities, including the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, federally recognized tribes, indigenous-led organizations, tribal and local law enforcement agencies, the Colorado bureau of investigation, and the Colorado State Patrol.
What does OMMIR do?
The Office the Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (OMMIR)
- Helps connect families with resources
- Provides information to the families on how to report a missing or murdered loved one
- Works to increase awareness regarding missing and murdered indigenous people
- Develops and enhances partnerships with Tribal Law Enforcement and communities
- Collaborates with state and local partners to develop training
The Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (OMMIR)
- DOES NOT take police reports of any kind including missing or murdered persons
- DOES NOT investigate missing or murdered persons reported
- DOES NOT activate the Missing Indigenous Person Alert (MIPA) system
- DOES NOT create or conduct search parties for missing persons
Colorado Senate Bill 22-150
24-33.5-2605. Information dashboard - report. (link to SB22-150 PDF)
(1) The department shall publish on its public website a dashboard that displays, in an interactive, intuitive, and visual manner, information regarding missing or murdered indigenous persons, including:
(a) the number of cases of missing or murdered indigenous relatives;
(b) the tribal affiliation of each missing or murdered indigenous relative, to the extent that publishing tribal affiliation does not identify an individual person;
(c) geographic information regarding cases of missing or murdered indigenous relatives;
(d) the results of cases of missing or murdered indigenous relatives; for example, whether the person is found and whether a perpetrator has been arrested and charged in the case and the disposition of the charges; and
(e) resources available for family members of missing or murdered indigenous relatives.
Colorado Senate Bill 23-054
24-33.5-2606. Missing or murdered indigenous relatives phone line. (link to SB23-054 PDF)
The State's Fusion Center in the Office of Prevention and Security, created in section 24-33.5-1606, shall create a dedicated phone line for missing or murdered indigenous relatives. The phone line must operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The phone line must facilitate connecting a caller with the appropriate contact at either the Office or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
What to Do When Your Native Relative Goes Missing
Contact Local Law Enforcement
Call your local law enforcement to make a report.
- Report the person immediately; note: there is no waiting period to make a report
- At the time you file a report, please make sure you have as many details as possible about the circumstances as well as descriptive information about your loved one; include recent photos if available
- Inform the law enforcement agency that the person missing is Native American
- Be sure to clearly state the reasons why you believe the individual’s absence is not voluntary.
- Make sure to get the contact information of the officer who takes the report so you can follow up, should you have additional questions.
- Ask for the agency case number so you can better reference the case in the future and/or request related reports.
- Confirm with the investigating agency that the case has been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. This allows all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to access certain information about the case.
- Make sure to contact any family / close friends that should be aware of your love one’s disappearance. The investigating agency may need to speak with the missing person's biological relatives at certain points in the investigation, so it is always a good idea to make sure they are aware.
After you have made a missing persons report, the Law Enforcement agency may activate a Missing Indigenous Person Alert (MIPA) through the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI).
How to Help After a Report is Filed
- Try to keep an open line of communication with the law enforcement officers you speak with. Make sure to share with them any additional information you come across and ask them if there are ways you can assist.
- Ask law enforcement before doing any of your own investigating (i.e. searching a missing person’s residence, looking through their social media accounts, etc.) This could be detrimental to the investigation.
- Reach out to the missing person’s friends, co-workers, school, neighbors, relatives or anyone else who may have information about the missing person. Getting the word out can be a very effective tool in missing person cases.
- Do not get rid of personal items of the missing person that may be of use to the investigators (i.e. clothes worn often, important mail, toothbrush / hairbrush, etc.) When in doubt, contact the investigating agency.
- Talk with the investigating agency on how to provide family DNA samples.
- Make a list of places the missing person often went to and the people they talked to the most.
- Provide law enforcement with information regarding the bank the missing person uses, who their dentist is, who their home internet service provider is and who their cell phone provider is.
- Retain the missing person’s cell phone and landline phone records, if available.
- If the missing person is found let investigators know.
How to Get the Word Out Regarding the Missing Person
- Before sharing any details about the investigation with the local or online community, talk with the investigating agency to make sure none of the information you plan to share could hinder the investigation.
- Create and distribute a missing person poster.
- Ask law enforcement what contact number should be included on the poster for their agency.
- Posters can be distributed at physical locations as well as in online communities.
- Contact local media outlets and ask them to share the missing person’s story.
- Contact the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System to have information regarding the missing adult posted on their online database. They can be contacted at NamUs.
- If your missing loved one is a child, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to have information regarding the missing child posted on their national database. They can be contacted at NCMEC.
- Look through the CBI resource page to see if there are any additional services that might be of use to your specific circumstances.
- Be sure to lean on others during this time. It will be traumatic and having a support system can help tremendously.
- Be aware of those seeking money to assist in locating your loved. These people can include private investigators, psychics and others. Report information on these individuals to law enforcement if you are contacted.
- Media attention can be an extremely useful tool in missing persons’ cases; however, it can also take a toll on you and other family members. Feel free to set boundaries. You do not need to accept every media request or answer every question.
- If you have a loved one who is missing, you are considered a Co-victim of that crime. Victim Advocates are there to offer support, assistance, compassion and understanding. Either ask the investigating agency to be put in contact with their Victim Advocate or contact the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Victim Assistance for Missing Persons Cases at 303-239-4211.
- Contact the Office of the Liaison of Missing Murdered Indigenous Relatives for additional assistance and resources
Resources in Other States
- National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
- US Department of Justice Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons includes quick links to report and identify missing persons, view Unsolved Indian Country Cases, learn more about Tribal Community Response Plan for Missing Person Cases, find information and resources, participate in listening sessions and tribal consultations, and explore data & research
- U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs Missing and Murdered Indigenous People - Learn more about the Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services and how they may be available to assist or provide investigative services to Tribes under the Public Law (P.L.) 83-280
- StrongHearts Native Helpline - StrongHearts is a lifeline to Native American and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic and sexual violence by offering a culturally-appropriate, anonymous and confidential service available 24/7 nationwide.
- Tribal Resource Tool - A searchable directory of services available for all AI/AN survivors of crime and abuse in Indian Country.
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) serves the United States and Canada - Discover blogs, facts, help with projects, learn about their programs, and much more
- Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives Task Force of Colorado, Colorado Springs based non-profit that assists with Colorado based searches, policy making, coordination with families, compilation and correction of data, education and advocacy.
- Native Womens Wilderness Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women, located in Boulder CO - Find links to policy initiatives and to resources in other states
- CBI - The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) supports and assists local, county, and state criminal justice agencies through the provision of professional investigative and forensic laboratory services, as well as the management and administration of criminal justice records and data sharing. CBI is primarily a "by request" agency responding to requests for investigative and forensic services from law enforcement, district attorneys, and other state agencies.
- CSP - The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) provides services across the state by promoting safety, protecting human life, and preserving state highways. In addition to our expertise in traffic safety, CSP leads the state in areas such as commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials routing and rulemaking, specialized enforcement, aviation, homeland security, communications, immigration enforcement, investigative services, dignitary protection, infrastructure protection, criminal interdiction, research and development, legislative advisement, education, and more.
- Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs - The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs office serves as the official liaison between the State of Colorado and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The relationship between the State of Colorado and sovereign Tribal governments is founded on a strong government-to-government relationship. The Commission is committed to facilitating communication between the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the other 46 Historic Tribes of Colorado, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) organizations, state agencies, and affiliated groups. The Commission ensures direct contact and meaningful engagement with the Tribes and with Colorado's urban Indian communities.
Community Volunteer Advisory Board
The Office of the Liaison for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (OMMIR) supports the Community Volunteer Advisory Board (Board). The Community Volunteer Advisory Board identifies and advises OMMIR on areas of concern regarding missing or murdered indigenous relatives and issues related to missing or murdered indigenous relatives.
Meetings are expected to be quarterly with the option to attend virtually. If travel is required for any meeting, members will be reimbursed for travel expenses.
Upcoming Virtual Meetings:
Wednesday, October 10, 2023: 10: a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Friday, November 17, 2023: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Friday, February 9, 2024: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Friday, May 10, 2024: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Visit the DCJ Public Meetings Calendar to view the agenda 72 hours prior to a meeting.
Register in advance to virtually attend a meeting.
Please go to the Community Volunteer Advisory Board page for a list of board members and upcoming or previous meeting information.