The search continues for a 14-year-old girl last seen in Busby.
Volunteers gathered Friday west of Lame Deer at Muddy Hall to look for Henny Scott, who was last seen at 8 a.m. on Dec. 13.
Scott is Native American, stands 5’1” tall and weighs about 115 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and a mole on the bridge of her nose. She wore a black Columbia jacket, gray Nike hoodie and blue jeans when she was last seen.
At least initially, officials said they suspected Scott might be traveling to Hardin and was possibly injured, though the nature and cause of the injury weren’t revealed.
Details about Scott’s disappearance have been slow to surface. Montana’s Department of Justice confirmed Friday that it issued a “missing or endangered person advisory” on Dec. 26, the day the FBI requested one, which was nearly two weeks after Scott went missing. The Bureau of Indian Affairs had entered Scott into the missing persons database Dec. 13, meaning she was in the system, but her disappearance wasn't broadcast to the media until the day after Christmas. The advisory ended Dec. 27.
Local, non-federal, law enforcement officers weren’t familiar with the specifics of the report Friday. The Big Horn County Undersheriff said he wasn’t aware Scott was thought to be headed to the Crow Indian Reservation, or Hardin.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Crow Agency offered no new information on the disappearance and deferred all questions to the officer in charge, who did not respond. Basic information about Scott, like where she lives, which tribe she belongs to and where she attends school has never been provided.
The volunteer search party Friday was organized by Theresa Small of Northern Cheyenne Disaster and Emergency Services.
Acting Tribal President Conrad Fisher offered administrative leave to any tribal employee who joined the search, encouraging them to sign up.
Small reported on social media that the search party numbered 20. She asked for food and water donations for the search party and advised everyone to be prepared for the cold, as temperatures were in the teens.
Native American women in Montana disappear at an alarming rate and are rarely found. At a Congressional hearing Dec. 12, Montana U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines pointed out that two dozen Native American women in Montana have disappeared in 2018. Only one was found alive. Another was found dead. Scott’s disappearance, which occurred the day after the hearing, was not included in the discussion.
"We need to know what's happening and what exactly can happen to solve this problem. Because these are people, these are families, these are communities that our law enforcement agencies need to look out for,” Tester said at the hearing. "Where's the problem? Is it with BIA, is it with the FBI, is it with tribal law enforcement? Why are we not finding these people? We have got to find a solution to this. We have to."
The hearing included testimony from Kimberly Loring-Heavyrunner, whose sister, Ashley, went missing in 2017. Daines pointed out that Ashley was missing for two months before the Bureau of Indian Affairs started investigating.
“Does it seem like protocol is being followed when there was a two-month lag time between when Ashley went missing and when the case began as a missing person?" Daines asked the BIA.
Two days after Kimberly Loring-Heavyrunner testified, the FBI announced that human remains had been found on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and would be tested for identification.