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One year later, family of missing Tulalip woman still looking for answers

The case of Mary Johnson-Davis is bringing long-overdue attention to the plight of missing indigenous women.

TULALIP, Wash — People came together at the Gathering Hall on the Tulalip reservation, Thursday, to remember 40-year-old Mary Johnson Davis one year after her disappearance.

The community gathered in an effort to keep Johnson's name in the press, put pressure on police and help Davis's family carry an unbearable burden.

"Please help us find out sister," said Nona Blouin. "We miss her. Help us find her."

Davis was last seen walking on the Tulalip Reservation on Nov. 25, 2020. She was on her way to see friends, but she never showed up.

Her estranged husband was the last person to be seen with her. He reported her missing two weeks later.

Since then it has been 12 months of agony -- not knowing where Mary is, if she is still alive and how to get people off the reservation to care.

RELATED: Search continues for missing Tulalip woman, one year after her disappearance

"It's a long hard road trying to get a native woman's face and story out there," said Gerry Davis, Mary's youngest sister.

The families of other indigenous people who went missing shared in the Davis family's frustration. 

Some of their cases haven't been solved for more than 20 years. Their photos hung in the room's foyer.

Mary's sister Gerry said they are all family now.

"We know what their families are going through. We feel what they feel," she said.

Mary's family believes their case only got notoriety because it happened around the same time as Gabby Petito, a young white woman who disappeared while traveling the country with her fiance.

She was later found strangled to death in Wyoming.

Tulalip Police Chief Chris Sutter said part of the problem in solving crimes that involve native women is the "jurisdictional maze" investigators have to work through.

He said it's something that is very much top of mind in law enforcement now.

"We're trying to change the narrative that these cases don't historically get solved very rapidly or at all," said Sutter.

Sutter would not provide information about potential leads or suspects in Mary's case.

He announced the reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever is responsible for Mary's disappearance is now up to $60,000.

RELATED: Poor data, racism fueling crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people, activists say

Anyone with information should call the Tulalip Police tip line at 360-716-5918.

Chief Sutter said the Tulalip Police are currently working on a community response plan involving police, prosecutors and reporters for when people go missing from the reservation.

At this point, however, Mary's extended family could only continue to pray for the day they see her again.

"We do remain optimistic," said Mary's sister Nona. "We're not gonna give up."

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