Days after the body of a woman previously reported missing was found, her family and friends gathered to say goodbye, near the Missouri River.

The body of Valene Little Bird was found Tuesday night by a fisherman in the area. Lissa Yellow Bird Chase, an advocate for the missing and murdered, said on behalf of the family that she wanted to thank those who helped in the search efforts for Little Bird.

Family and friends search for missing woman, Valene Little Bird

She mentioned many people who made donations or helped in other ways in the efforts to locate Little Bird, who had been missing since 2021. Yellow Bird Chase also spoke about the need to raise awareness for other missing indigenous people.

“We had a lot of businesses in Bismarck that participated in posting the flyers and were very cooperative,” said Yellow Bird Chase. “That is something new also. So if we could get a little more people on board, we would probably be sitting pretty good. We just owe a big thank you to a lot of people and we offer prayers to the angler who actually located her. And we hope that person is doing ok. And we’re very thankful,” added Yellow Bird Chase.

The Bismarck Police Department said that an initial investigation does not indicate foul play. However, an official cause of death for Little Bird has not been released.