FORT YATES, N.D. (KXNET) — For the second day, friends, family, and community members gathered to search for Memarie White Mountain.
18-year-old White Mountain, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, was last seen on foot in the Fort Yates area on November 10, according to family members.
White Mountain’s sister, Kaitlyn Sparks, tells KX News that White Mountain sent a Facebook message on November 10 saying she was ready to return home. But when Sparks, who resides in Bismarck, went to pick up White Mountain the following day, she was nowhere to be found.
Sparks says her sister does not have a cell phone and will sometimes be out of contact with family for a couple of days.
However, she adds that it’s out of character for White Mountain to go this long without speaking to family members and she’s concerned for her sister’s well-being.
“It’s been kind of hard to comprehend that something like this happens so close to home, but I really am hoping that she’ll just come home,” said Spirit White Shield, another sister of White Mountain’s.
White Shield said that the sisters lost their mother in January of this year and that the loss was especially difficult for Memarie.
“I think it hit her very hard because our mom was like our best friend and she was just our go-to and Memarie got close to her just like any of us did, so I think it hit her pretty hard,” said White Shield.
As the sisters and other family members continue searching for White Mountain, Sparks says she is grateful for the community’s support.
“The community has really been helping us so much. I was so scared coming down here thinking it was just going to be us searching. And a lot, a lot of people really stepped in and really helped us a lot. And it really warms my heart and it doesn’t make us, myself and my siblings, feel alone,” said Sparks.
They’re also holding out hope that White Mountain will be found soon.
“Memarie, nobody’s mad at you,” said Sparks. “We just want you home. You can just text somebody and tell us. I’d want to see your face, but let us know you’re safe. We’ll call everything off. You can back to Bismarck, you can stay here. We just want to know that you’re ok because right now it’s gone so far that everybody’s thinking the worst. And don’t do that to us,” she said.
If you would like to assist with search efforts, Sparks started the Facebook group, Help Us Find Memarie.