Longreads

For Esquire, Rachel Monroe spent time on the enormous Navajo reservation to examine how the Amber Alert system failed to protect a missing girl. Typically, child abductions launch immediate responses from local law enforcement, but when a Navajo sister and brother, Ashlynne and Ian Mike, went missing in Shiprock in 2016, the Navajo Nation Police Department didn’t put out an Amber Alert for eight hours after the girl went reported missing. Jurisdiction, a lack of resources, and confusion about procedure wasted vital time, and Ashlynne was found dead.

Monroe spent two years speaking with sources and unraveling the bureaucratic and cultural threads that kept the Navajo Nation Amber Alert system from working as well as is does off the reservation. Monroe tells a chilling story, especially to parents, but it honors Ashlynne’s memory and offers hope that the bipartisan bill that Ashlynne’s mother helped pass, a bill to fund…

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